Its a multi-million dollar business that has offered a new way for smokers to kick the habit, but up until last week many even questioned whether it was a healthier alternative.
Now there’s a battle brewing over what’s filling the lungs of some smokers.
For the past week researchers and scientists have gone back and forth over the healthiness of e-cigarettes.
The most recent report on electronic cigarettes or “e-cigs” came last week when the Public Health of England determined they are 95% safer than an average cigarette and that’s a huge reason why many are making the switch.
“I’m used to being around a lot of people and not everyone likes the smell. You get it on your clothes and everything around you smells like it. With this you can pretty much do it anywhere, its quick and easy and you really don’t offend people,” added former cigarette smoker William Haught.
Haught’s certainly not alone, in fact with many people wanting to drop the habit have traded the smoke for the vapor.
At Rapture Vapor inside the Ohio Valley Mall, this new alternative means big business.
“Everyday we have people coming in here and say they’re tired of smoking and want to try something different. People are very successful at it because it is a good alternative,” said manager of Rapture Vapor Brian Harubin.
Another aspect of the business Harubin prides himself is carding younger customers. In his opinion, its about offering alternatives not enabling future smokers.
“Its 18 to try, 18 to buy. We have the same set of standards as the tobacco industry. We don’t want to promote it as something kids would want to do,” said Harubin.
Before you decide to lose the lighter, health officials recommend doing the research and determine what options are healthy, and which ones are just blowing smoke.
“We don’t know everything that’s going out. We don’t know everything that’s affecting our bodies. To say that there’s literature that says there’s nothing wrong with it is very short sided, as well as individuals who say they’re good for you,” said Ohio County Health Director Howard Gamble.