e-cigs

Lawmakers Poised to Ban E-Cig Sales to Kids

Apr 2, 2014
Alicia Mandigo

A bill that would ban sales to minors recently passed the Florida Senate unanimously, and a similar bill is pending in the House.  

What started out as an online, underground fad is now a billion dollar business. Electronic cigarettes,  often called e-cigarettes, really aren't cigarettes at all because there's no tobacco, no flame and no smoke. But there are still a lot of questions about where they can be used and whether they pose a health risk. 

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

Luke Johnson / Tampa Tribune

Electronic cigarettes, which substitute water vapor for smoke, are growing in popularity, with new stores popping up all around. The Tampa Tribune reports that more than 20 percent of adult smokers across the country have tried “e-cigarettes,” which are not regulated by the FDA and contain varying amounts of nicotine and come in all kinds of flavors. Public health officials say they haven’t been adequately tested, but some former smokers swear by them.