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Vaping business smokin' in the Valley, but are e-cigs safe? - WKBN.com

Discussion in 'Non Vape Related News' started by news, Feb 11, 2016.

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    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Do electronic cigarettes really help people stop smoking? Or is it simply swapping one addictive behavior for another? Is it any safer or just less harmful? Those are questions WKBN 27 First News set out to answer as more vapor shops are opening and more customers are lining up.

    Nader Rafeedie opened his first vapor shop less than two years ago on Youngstown’s west side. He now owns seven Alternative Smokes locations and says the e-cigarette business is good.

    The technology changes weekly, Rafeedie says, and the business has grown with those innovations. The promise of e-cigs is that they will help smokers put down actual cigarettes. Most vapor shops market their products that way.

    Rafeedie says he’s gone from two packs to two cigarettes a day on top of his vaping. Many of his customers will tell you the same story. But a recent study by doctors at the University of California San Francisco found people using e-cigarettes to quit real cigarettes are less likely to stop.

    A.J. (no last name given) was inside a local vapor shop but she says the e-cigarettes didn’t work for her as a tool to stop smoking. She always ended up going back to real cigarettes.

    “I’ve been a smoker for 25 years. I’m 45 years old and just continue to smoke,” A.J. said.

    Gregory Conley, the president of the American Vaping Association, says the California study only asked people if they used vapor products not why. He says the surveys that actually inquire about reasons for us, frequency of use and type of product do find that vapor products, when used by those looking to quit smoking, do help.

    Rafeedie also claims second-hand smoke vapor is harmless and believes first-hand puffing is safer too – getting nicotine without the 130 other cancerous chemicals in a cigarette. Conley calls it a “harm reduction.”

    “Smoking, inhaling burning smoke into the lungs is the cause of 99 percent of tobacco-related disease and death. Nicotine is not a carcinogen,” Conley said.

    The Mahoning County Health Department has a different view on the “harm reduction” theory.

    Teresa Kilbert is a smoking cessation nurse with the department, and she says trading one addictive behavior for another is not a good way to quit smoking. She says vaping actually re-enforces the behavior of smoking. It also lets users get their nicotine fix more often, in more places, making it more difficult to quit the act altogether. She also adds that e-cigarettes can cause respiratory asthma and inflammation.

    Rafeedie says he and his customers have never felt better and that vaping has changed his health. He claims his blood pressure id down and all the “non-benefits” of smoking have gone away.

    Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, similar to caffeine. But since the 1970’s, doctors have said it’s the tar and chemicals in cigarettes that kill smokers not the nicotine. So, e-cigarette liquids have different amounts of nicotine, from about 18 milligrams, the amount found in a normal cigarette, down to zero.

    Rafeedie says that formulation can help smokers gradually step down or wean themselves off traditional cigarettes.

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