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Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Electronic cigarettes are showing up in shops around the country. In recent years, it's become clear that "vaping," as it's called, is here to stay.
"It's amazing how quickly it’s changed and what limits it’s reached. Originally it was considered to be a fad, and it was one of those where I immediately switched from cigarettes to vaping in a two day time frame," said Jim Longden, owner of Vapoligy.
Similar in appearance to a regular cigarette, an electronic cigarette uses three parts: a battery, an atomizer, and liquid.
"Water vapors that are turned in to a mist, and you generally push on a button or take a draw and pull it in. It looks very similar to smoking, but it's not smoking," explained Steve Leavitt, owner of Vapaholic.
"What you inhale is the steam, and what you can put in the liquid is anything dissolvable, like nicotine. So the nicotine is in there for prior smokers and can be adjusted to whatever strength your former cigarette was," added Tom Dunn, owner of Snake River Vapor.
Lawmakers in Idaho have banned the selling and offering of electronic cigarettes to minors. But this hasn't stopped the trend from gaining attention from young people around the country.
"The younger crowd realizes they don't want to get into smoking, it's harmful, there is a lot of evidence, there is enough push and public pressure put on cigarettes, so they say okay I don't want to get into that. It's harmful or it’s dirty. So they try it,” Dunn pointed out.
"It caters from people 18 to 75, 80 years old. It’s a very good alternative to smoking,” Leavitt added.
"I do see this replacing the traditional analog cigarettes the US Army used to give the Army when they went to war. This is a life altering change that's not going away. It’s not a fad. It’s not a short lived thing. It is a way of life and it’s here to stay,” Longben said.
Twenty-first century changes being made to an old tradition.
Little information exists about the health effects of electronic cigarettes.
In part two of this series, we'll examine how vaping could be affecting your health.