RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The former surgeon general who stressed the dangers of secondhand smoke and supported banning tobacco products is joining the board of directors for the nation's leading electronic cigarette company.
Arizona-based NJOY Inc. says Dr. Richard Carmona will advise it on public health and regulatory issues, and spearhead its research into electronic cigarettes.
The battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that users inhale. The company's NJOY KING is the nation's best-selling e-cigarette.
Carmona was the country's senior public health official under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2006.
The 63-year-old is president of the health and wellness nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute and a public health professor at the University of Arizona.
The move could bring increased legitimacy to e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes.