Lakeshore News Tonight

For Some Vaping Has Risk, For Others a Reward

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November 7, 2013 — The latest new way to kick a smoking habit is to drop the tobacco sticks and instead puff electronically.

That is exactly how Valparaiso resident Daniel York weaned himself off of a one-and-a-half-packs-a-day cigarette habit, “I’d find myself winded.  I like to do a lot of hiking, and the more I smoked it seemed the less I would be able to travel.  It just seemed like I had a lot of issues not being able to battle colds or flus.”

York said he learned about vaping three months ago from a friend.  After having no success with the nicotine patch, gum and even failing at quitting his habit cold turkey, he channeled his addiction through a battery operated liquid stick and placed himself at nicotine level number 24.

“I reduced two stages.  I went from 24 milligrams nicotine down to a 12 milligrams nicotine,” York said.

Methodist Hospitals Cancer Institute Medical Director Bharat Barai surprisingly favors e-cigarettes, if the product is used similarly to how he prescribes the nicotine reduction products, which is for a limited time until the user becomes less dependent on the chemical.   Barai warns against vaping for a lifetime.

He said, “If it is implemented by the person with self discipline then it might be ok.  When it is done under medical supervision, when I prescribe nicotine products, I only give two weeks woth of 21mg and two weeks’ worth of 14 and two weeks’ worth of seven.  So you are sowing the seeds to develop a stroke or heart attack and the more you use nicotine, the higher the changes of you developing stroke and heart attack at a younger age.”

Leaving the tobacco alone is vital.  Barai, who is an oncologist, said 40 percent of all human cancers are from tobacco-related products.   Since vaping is not tobacco usage , that’s positive.  While other chemicals are OK so far,  Barai believes their use has not been regulated.  York said that’s alright.

“The products that are in it are FDA regulated, they are just not regulated for inhaling.  That really kind of pops up a big question of if it is safe or not.  My opinion is it is certainly a lot safer than smoking cigarettes.”

Indiana Youth Institute President and CEO Bill Stanczykiewicz worries the sale of nicotine filled electronic cigarettes to minors could lead to kids starting a dangerous habit.  He said between 2011 and 2012 the number of teenagers using e-cigs has doubled from five to ten percent.

“We know that this product is being used more by teenagers.  We know that it will bring nicotine into their lives, which is a very unfortunate development for them to the point where it could even be a lethal dose if they use this product improperly,” said Stanczykiewicz.

York has been lighting up since he was 15.  Not only has he kicked his habit, touting close to zero nicotine use now, he even keeps more money in his wallet.

“I went from $40 every week on cigarettes to about$ 15  every two weeks on vaporizing,” said York.

York said now his habit has become a hobby.

By Renetta DuBose


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