Watch ABC2 News Tuesday at 6 p.m. as we investigate electronic cigarette use. The risks associated with e-cigs may surprise you.
Suddenly, e-cigarettes seem to be everywhere and so far, there is little to no regulation.
Users argue the vessels of vapor are a better choice than tobacco cigarettes. Many even go as far to say that e-cig use has changed their lives.
From physically feeling better, to the pros of not smelling like cigarette smoke, those in love with electronic cigarettes have gone head-to-head on social media platforms with many suggesting the vapor may be more harmful than originally believed.
In a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was noted that e -cigs may help some smokers quit, but conclusive research is needed and their long-term safety is unknown. It was also noted that vapor from the battery-operated devices could lead to nicotine addiction among nonsmokers.
Yet other experts, like John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society's chief executive officer, argue electronic cigarette use could bring about the death of smoking as we know it.
In the past, "the country really wasn't ready" to walk away from cigarettes," said Richard Daynard, a Northeastern University law professor who focuses on tobacco issues.. "I think the country's ready now."
If the FDA can ratchet down nicotine in conventional cigarettes to levels below what's in e-cigarettes, perhaps everyone who clings to smoking will switch to the higher-nicotine new products. That could achieve the end of smoking, at least of combustible, carcinogen-filled cigarettes - or so the thinking goes.
Regardless, the increases in e-cigarette use are visible. They're not just visible with current smokers, but also with juveniles.
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that during 2011–2012, among all students in grades 6–12, e-cigarette use increased from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent. Use of both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes increased from 0.8% to 1.6%. In 2012, among ever e-cigarette users, 9.3 percent reported never smoking conventional cigarettes.
Why? It's simple. From vapor flavors that range from chocolate to raspberry and prices that are saving everyday smokers as much as $45 each week -- using e-cigs comes with what is arguably a pleasant experience.
But, is e-cigarette use worth the risks our investigation into the issue found? WATCH TUESDAY at 6 p.m.
* The Associated Press contributed to this report.