Electronic Cigarettes: A Healthier Alternative?


By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Electronic cigarettes are a growing trend in the U.S.

Part one of our series focused on the background of vaping, and now we will take a closer look at some of the health effects and risks e-cigarettes pose.

"I used to be a smoker and I tried vaping, and it changed a lot of things for me. I don't smoke anymore, and it seemed to be a much better alternative to smoking," Steve Leavitt, Owner of Vapaholic, said.

The high cost of cigarettes and effects to one's health have many users trying out vaping instead.

But with little information known about the new trend, many are wondering about its effects.

"Without the knowledge, without the info, we're not sure. Use your own judgment; that's all we can say right now because there's not a lot of information," explained Elvia Caldera, health education specialist at SCPHD.

Health officials argue the lack of information, but proponents of the technology say don't be so quick to make assumptions.

"Those who don't see it or the legislators who don’t know about it due to the lack of education just haven't taken the time. You ask any smoker who has turned to a vapor, it's a life altering change. We save lives every day," Jim Longden, owner of Vapoligy, pointed out.

"All of the people that have been smoking, they've never had an alternative, except to stop. I wasn't looking to quit, but I sure was looking to switch. And so now that I've switched, I feel a lot better; I feel a lot younger. You can just see it in your customers; you can see it in their skin, their eyes," Tom Dunn, owner of Snake River Vapor, explained.

Both sides urge to government step in.

"We’ve been trying to put into place age restrictions, clean room requirements. We hope there is some legislation put into place to control how this is made; this is consumable for people. We want to make sure this is made in the right way for the right people," Longden said.

"Unfortunately, the Federal Drug Administration has not done a lot of research on it. What they have found is there are carcinogens in them and also other chemicals. That's as far as we know, so they haven't deemed them to be safe. So they're sort of a mystery," Caldera explained.

A healthier alternative? Only time will tell.

If you are considering vaping for the first time, talk to your doctor to find out if it's right for you.

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