Sunday, January 29, 2012

Smokers find ‘vaping’ electronic cigarettes beats tobacco version

Users say devices ‘more pure’ than smoking; lower cost also big factor in decision to take battery-powered puffs

Cumberland Times-News
by Kristin Harty Barkley
January 29, 2012

Frostburg, Ma — Kirk Valentine was smoking about two packs of cigarettes a day and wishing he could quit when he first learned about “vaping,” the term for using an electronic cigarette.

Now he’s a “vaper” instead of a smoker — a big improvement, Valentine and other e-cigarette advocates believe.

“It’s more pure. You’re not getting all that chemical,” said Sue Dicken, who with Valentine purchased supplies last week at The Vapor Room, a new e-cigarette store in Frostburg.

“The smell is gone,” Valentine said.

“You don’t feel so bad,” Dicken said.

“It’s cheaper,” said Valentine, 42, of McCoole. “We were probably spending $85 every two weeks on cigarettes.”

“We only spend about $50 a month buying this,” Dicken said.
“Big difference,” Valentine said.

Though controversial because of a lack of scientific studies on their health effects, electronic cigarettes are gaining steam among area smokers who like to smoke but don’t like all of the health problems associated with standard tobacco products.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association notes that while any product containing nicotine cannot be called 100 percent safe, studies strongly suggest that e-cigarettes are “magnitudes safer than tobacco cigarettes.” Harm reduction experts point to research that shows that switching from cigarettes to a smoke-free product will reduce health risks to less than 1 percent of smoking traditional cigarettes, according to CASAA.

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