Tonawanda News

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November 21, 2013

UP IN THE AIR

E-cig debate: Do they help smokers quit or rope in kids?

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — A bill to ban or regulate the electronic cigarettes in New York died in the legislature. State Sen. George D. Maziarz said he is “in between” on the issue. He wonders if e-cigs are introducing smoking to a new generation or help wean current smokers off the real things and onto the vapor.

E-cig users and sellers say it’s the latter. The managers of Pleasant Puffs and Majestic Vapors in Lockport speak of benefits. 

Nicole Biro, the manager of Majestic Vapors, said she smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day before switching to electronic cigarettes last year. Nicholas Brostko of Pleasant Puffs stopped smoking cigarettes this year and has gradually lowered the nicotine level in his e-cigs from 18 milligrams to 3.

”Most people have a lot of success with them. It’s smoking without all the chemicals,” Brostko said.

E-cigarettes manufacturers state that the devices are not intended for treatment for nicotine addiction, in part because there has been no FDA approval of such a statement. The FDA has refused to either endorse or condemn the devices.

Cigarette smoke reportedly contains 2,000 chemicals and many are carcinogenic. The e-cigs cut out the chemicals, but provide nicotine in vapor form — in measured amounts.

As to the notion that e-cigs are hooking kids on smoking? Biro says it isn’t so. In fact, no one under the age of 18 is allowed in her store.

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