Only On 6: Vaping Explosion

Electronic cigarettes and vapor devices are being used more and more in Texoma. Many are looking to those as an alternative to smoking, and they're not alone.
The growth of the industry has pretty much tripled each year since 2009, but the devices are still so new, there are still many questions about their usefulness to help smokers quit or any long term health effects they may have.
We set out to find answers because some of these devices are not just a fad they are becoming a way of life.
The vapor and E-Cig industry is expected to rake in $2-billion in revenue this year alone.
To give you some perspective, in 2009 the industry only made $900,000 in revenue. That's more than a 2,000 times more in just a few years.
'I enjoyed smoking it was just an economical decision and I was intrigued," said Saul Williams who was an avid smoker.
Like many others in Texoma, he decided to invest in a vaping device.
Vapor inhalers and electronic cigarettes are devices that mimic smoking without the smell and without the dangerous secondhand smoke.
Makers say the devices are safe.
They use an electronic wick that turns a liquid into a vapor that the user inhales and exhales just like a cigarette.
They have nicotine, but can also be bought without it.
Many users are turning to these devices to help them quit smoking.
"A lot of my co-workers use this and they say they are feeling a lot better," said Saul Williams. "I think it will help other people who want to completely quit smoking."
"Our goal is to provide something for someone to help them quit if that's what they choose to do," said Duane Holloway with Stogies Vapor Store.
Holloway says the product is hot right now and his store is seeing that in their sales figures.  
"It's fresh in people's minds. More people are seeing it. More people are doing it," said Holloway. "It's relatively new so there is going to be a point in time when it plateaus, but I don't see that for a while."
Even with the up front cost of anywhere between $40 to $200, Saul Williams says he is saving money, but that's not all.
Williams told us he is smoking a quarter of the amount of cigarettes he used to. He said from the time he stopped smoking and started vaping he felt an immediate change in his health.
"I play softball for my company and I noticed that in the next practice that I got this thing, I was able to jump as soon as the ball was hit," Williams said. "Just had more energy and less coughing and felt great."
"The FDA is just now starting to review it but, there's really no research on anything supporting the electronic cigarette right now. There's no support out there," said Darrin French.
French is the United Regional Director of Respiratory Therapy. He told us without any long term studies, there is nothing that says electronic smokes are any better for anyone. In fact he says they're the same.
"In my opinion it's no better. From my experience as a therapist, it's no better," said French. "You're getting the same. The same chemicals and same nicotine."
A recent mayo clinic study backs that up. It states dangerous chemicals were found in the electronic cigarettes that were tested, but there may be some hope.
A study done in New Zealand and published in The Lancet medical magazine, found that the use of the vapor inhalers did make a difference in those who want to quit smoking and used the inhaler as an aide. Duane Holloway with Stogies Vapor Store says he hears from customers all the time who have used their product and quit smoking.
"It's a great feeling to be able to help someone especially when they come back and say hey we really appreciate you being here," said Holloway. "We appreciate what you've done for us. I really didn't do anything except provide a way for them to change their habit."
Darrin French believes the vapor inhalers or E-Cigs will not take the place of nicotine patches or other aides in helping people quit smoking anytime soon.
"What we teach in our program at the hospital, is that you don't want to go from one habit to another and that's what I think this is going to be."
Some are not as skeptical as French when it comes to those who want to quit cigarettes, but not quit smoking.
"I would feel comfortable quitting if I didn't enjoy smoking," said Saul Williams. "Easily. It wouldn't be a problem."
While the government and medical industry continues their research, the reparatory therapist we interviewed says the best thing to do if you want to quit smoking is go "cold turkey". Just quit.

Chris Horgen, Newschannel 6

URHCS Smoking Cessation Classes For 2014

March 4th,6th.11th and 13th

June 10th,12th, 17th and 19th

August 5th,7th,12th and 14th

November 4th,6th,11th and 13th

You are required to attend all four dates of the month.

Session times are 11:30am-1:00pm or 6:30pm to 8:30pm