E-cigarette market rises, health experts warn users

MARION COUNTY (WISH) — Smoke shops, cigar lounges and hookah bars have been around for decades, but a new type of store is burning up the industry. E-cigarette shops or vapor stores are popping up throughout central Indiana.

It’s known as ‘vaping’ – an electronic device emits vaporized nicotine in various doses and users can even find liquids without any nicotine. However, not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

“We help people get off smoking,” Indy Vapor Shop Associate Brad Choate said.

After years of cigarettes, he now only uses a an electronic device with the liquids he sells in the shop.

“No lighter, no fire, no combustion, anything like that,” Choate said.

Looking for a certain taste on the tongue? There’s cappuccino, butter rum and grape, just to name a few.

“Bakery flavors, you can get banana nut bread, we have a pizza flavor over there,” Choate said.

But not everyone is breathing in the bias.

“There’s no sense in trading in one tobacco product from an industry that’s been deceiving us for years for another product from that industry,” Danielle Patterson said.

Patterson is with the American Heart Association and says e-cigarettes should not be considered an alternative to smoking tobacco.

“You’re still taking in carcinogens. You may be off traditional cigarettes, you may feel like you don’t smell like cigarette smoke, but you’re still taking in harmful products into your body,” Patterson said.

Choate and those at the dozens of shops throughout central Indiana say they consider the switch to vaping a victory.

“It’s almost offensive when people try to say that this is not healthy and even if it’s not it still has to be so much better than cigarettes, because of the way I feel,” Choate said.

It’s important to remember, that the liquid used in e-cigarettes can be dangerous, especially to children.According to the CDC, with the rise in vaping, poison centers are receiving hundreds of calls and more than half involve a child, so if you do use these devices, keep them out of the reach of any kids.

The Indy SmokeFree ordinance, which went into affect in 2012, does include e-cigarettes of all kinds. That means they cannot be used in bars, restaurants, or other public buildings.

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