Electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking tobacco - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking tobacco

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Just after CVS announced a landmark decision to no longer sell tobacco products, some businesses are waiting to make a decision on whether or not to sell electronic cigarettes.

In the meantime, some stores in the Chattahoochee Valley already do. 

"You can't really say you're quitting, but it's definitely a healthier alternative," Delaney Miller from the Tobacco Place explains.

Miller claims that electronic cigarettes can satisfy the craving for nicotine without the harmful chemicals that lace the tobacco sticks.

It's a cartridge filled with nicotine in a flavored fluid, and a battery powered heater that produces smoke. The process is simply called "vaping".

"It's a propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin vapor. So, that's why they call it vaping," Miller adds. She says the ingredients can be found in common household items like pancake mix.

For former cigarette smoker Carolyn Walker, the switch to vaping has paid off.

Walker says, "I just went to the e-cigarettes, and I really like it."

After smoking cigarettes for 35 years, Walker says she was looking for a healthy alternative to tobacco products, and found that in the e-cigs. 

"Well, first of all it's not nasty," says Walker. "There's no odor, okay? And I just think that it's better for my health."

Others who, like Walker, are trying to ween themselves off of cigarettes are able to choose the amount of nicotine in each device they purchase.

Miller explains, "There's different nicotine levels in the bottles. So, a lot of different companies will do 0 to 36 Mg, which is the FDA regulated highest, healthiest amount you can go to without it being harmful to your heart, blood pressure and things like that."

And while health professionals don't completely understand the effects of the nicotine vapor on the body, there is no evidence of a link to cancer at this point.

Miller says the cost of a start up e-cig kit is the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes. CVS has not yet made a decision on whether they will sell the e-cigs or vaping devices in their pharmacies.

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