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EXCLUSIVE: E-Cigarette Ads Rejected by All Local Television Stations — Except For Fox Affiliate WSVN!

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EXCLUSIVE: E-Cigarette Ads Rejected by All Local Television Stations — Except For Fox Affiliate WSVN!

Stephen Dorff

Movie star Stephen Dorff was the first celebrity endorser of e-cigarettes on television (YouTube photo)

MIAMI — A controversy has erupted in local television on whether electronic cigarette makers should be advertising on local programs.

It’s yet another Gossip Extra exclusive: Several sources in tv-land are telling me manufacturers of the battery-operated, vapor-producing devices have been on a push to get ads on the air quickly — before an expected ban goes into effect.

Thing is: The general managers of most stations have turned down the lucrative opportunities to advertise the blue-tipped e-cigarettes — this at a time when some critics claim the devices are as harmful as regular cigarettes!

“It is CBS4 police not to accept e-cigarette ads,” says Lee Zimmerman, a spokesman at the network-owned station.

He declined to comment further, but folks WPLG-Channel 10 and WTVJ-Channel 6 echoed Zimmerman’s statement.

So, which major station does advertise the oft-criticized e-cigarettes?

That’d be WSVN-Channel 7.

Katherine Heigl

Actress Katherine Heigl took out an e-cigarette on her recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS photo)

A TV biz insider who asked not to be named says the amounts of money dangled before stations has been staggering.

“The rumor is that WSVN was offered $1 million for e-cigarette ads for 2014,” the source said.

Neither WSVN spokeswoman Lily Pardo nor advertising boss Cyndi Feinstein are returning calls for comment.

If they did, it’s likely they wouldn’t talk about how much money WSVN is receiving.

What is sure is that WSVN has covered the local e-cigarette industry in a mostly friendly manner. (Click here for a recent WSVN news segment about the opening of a vaping bar)

Meanwhile, reports of health hazards associated with e-cigarettes are mounting.

Tuesday, the American Association of Poison Control Centers issued a warning about vomiting and nausea caused by their use.

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