Vaping and e-cigarettes have become a $1.5M market in the U.S. – proof that this kind of puffing is becoming very popular.
Vicki Francia, one of the managers at Boston Vaping in Londonderry, NH., couldn’t agree more.
"Vaping right now is probably the biggest thing and the hottest thing to hit the market," Francia says.
The store hosted a grand opening cloud competition, where contestants make these big clouds by puffing on a vaporizer.
The battery powered devices atomize the liquid nicotine & flavoring known as ‘juice’.
"This is fun! I mean, look at us, we’re all having fun. I love it," Francia said about the competition.
The clouds aren’t smoke, and vaping fans say where there’s no smoke – there’s no harm.
But, not everyone is convinced.
"Just because it might be safer than combustible cigarettes and is likely to be safer," Tami Gouveia said on vaping. "it doesn’t mean that in and of itself it’s safe."
Gouveia is the executive director of Tobacco Free Mass.
She says the days of the high school smoking area may have been left in the ’80’s, but today’s young people are starting to vape and use e-cigarrettes more, under the perception that they are safe.
"Young people haven’t gotten the message that it’s not just water vapor or flavored water vapor in these products.
“There’s formaldehyde and nickel and cadmium and other toxins and carcinogens that are in these products," Gouveia said.
Because the is no burning smell or real smoke it is hard for parents or school staff to know that kids are vaping if they don’t catch them in the act.
"Bubble gum? Peach? Cherry? It’s really aimed at kids," Karin Carroll said on vapor flavors.
The Essex mother of two teenage boys says she’s concerned about the flavor appeal and about vaping catching on with teens.
"It also makes me kinda mad as a parent. We have enough as we’re trying to safely maneuver these kids into adulthood and it just seems in poor taste to have so much of these products so available and it’s clearly marketed to kids," Carroll said.
The state does do spot checks to make sure stores are not selling vaporizers and other e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of eighteen.
Records show less than 15% of stores checked over the past year sold to minors.
The adults we found at the cloud competition say they’ll continue to electronically puff away, with no worries.
Boston Vapor manager Vicki Francia says she’s been vaping for two years now, and feels that it’s completely safe.
"So, if I grow a tail in five years, so be it. But this is what I like to do and it got me off of smoking and that’s really all that matters," Francia said.
Right now, vaping isn’t regulated by the federal government, but that could soon change. The white house is looking over plans that would put vaping under the FDA’s authority.
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