Electronic Cigarettes: how do they work and are they safe?June 30, 2011|By Jean Jadhon | WDBJ-TV Anchor/Reporter
It looks like a cigarette and tastes like a cigarette- even gives a “nicotine rush” like a cigarette, but it’s not one. It’s a way “smokers” are getting a nicotine fix anywhere they want– from bars and restaurants to the mall.
John Sawyer’s been smoking since he was in the Navy. ”Cigarettes were ten cents a pack. Everybody smoked,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer used to smoke 2 packs a day. Now he’s cut that in half, because he now smokes electronic cigarettes as well.
Sawyer took a puff to demonstrate how they work. “The more you pull on it the more you’re going to take it in,” Sawyer said. As he puffs, a light at the end of the e-cigarette lights up.
The electronic cigarette delivers nicotine into the lungs and only releases water vapor. So why did Sawyer begin buying them? “Why?, because you’re welcome everywhere with one of these, where you’re not welcome anywhere with a cigarette,” Sawyer said.
Now it seems electronic cigarettes are sold everywhere form the mall to local convenience stores.
Mike Ferguson started buying them five months ago. ”And so I started with the mild. I think it’s like 6 percent nicotine,” Ferguson explained, but he had an unexpected result after starting on e-cigarettes.
He lowered the nicotine level to zero and now merely puffs on e-cigarettes because it’s part of his routine. ”It helped me to quit even though I didn’t want to quit,” Ferguson said. “I think it’s just the mouth-to-hand coordination. I need something.”
Now Ferguson can puff almost anywhere, even the mall and local restaurants.