Tommie Nyguen was a smoker for 15 years before he started vaping.
“So basically we have a little tank and there’s a heating element inside that’s wrapped around a little coil and you hit the button and it fires up the coil and it vaporizes it,” explained Nguyen.
The tank is filled with liquid flavoring that contains various levels of nicotine or no nicotine at all. When it’s heated it doesn’t create combustion and smoke like a cigarette does.
Vaping has become a popular way to stop smoking.
“You can go from high nicotine to low nicotine and then just wean yourself off completely,” said Nguyen.
Vaping helped Tommie quit and that’s why he opened Foghouse Vapes in neighboring Lisle.
“A lot of my customers that have smoked a pack-a-day are now down to a pack a week, and I have other customers that have completely quit like me. So it’s cool to see their progress,” said Nguyen.
But, Dr. Maria Quejada says not so fast, vaping is still too new and there isn’t enough data on its long-term effects.
She gives her patients who want to use vaping as a tool to quit this advice.
“I’ll tell them there are some advantages to it because there is no smoke and tobacco, but we don’t have any data to say it will help them quit. They will say is it better than cigarettes and to some extent, yes? But I can’t endorse it as of yet,” said Quejada.
With popularity comes regulation. The FDA has begun studying the e-cigarette industry.
Most users don’t mind certain regulations, like prohibiting sales to minors, but they don’t want to be treated like smokers
“Considering the vaporizing community to the same as the tobacco community, putting them in the same category, just puts that guy that vapes right outside next to the smoker,” said Nguyen. “And I don’t want to be by that guy with the second hand smoke because I gave it up and I know the effects.”
It might be years before any conclusive data on vaping is available, but for Tommie and his customers it’s a much safer alternative to smoking.
School District 203 recently updated their policy to ban e-cigarettes and vapor pens.
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