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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two weeks into the New Year, and some people are still trying to kick a few bad habits.

Smokers in Wilmington are no exception, which might explain the boom in electronic cigarette stores in the area.

Recently a few new signs have been popping up around the Port City. Electronic cigarettes promise the same satisfaction as normal cigarettes without all of those nasty chemicals.

“It still delivers your nicotine, and you can adjust the level of nicotine you get in it, but there is no smoke, no carbon monoxide, no tar,” Electra Vapor president David Peterson said.

Cigarettes have more than 4,000 chemicals. E-cigarettes, Peterson says, have only four.

“It is a much safer alternative to smoking cigarettes,” he said.

Customers hope this alternative can help them kick the habit altogether.

“I have seen a couple people buy them, and they have actually worked,” first-time customer Mike Gerringer said. “I have not been able to quit smoking. I have tried several things, so I figured I would give this a shot.”

Peterson, who owns six e-cigarette stores in Wilmington and Jacksonville says the growth of shops like his comes down to simple economics. Not only can you smoke e-cigarettes just about anywhere, e-cigarettes are also much cheaper than normal cigarettes.

“Smoking cigarettes just at a pack a day will cost an average consumer around $150 a month,” Peterson said. “Smoking electronic cigarettes cost an average person $20 to $25 a month.”

Of course, experts say the healthiest alternative to smoking is to give up the habit altogether.

Though customers swear by electronic cigarettes, they have not yet been proven to actually help people quit smoking. The FDA says because research continues, customers have no way to how safe they are or how much nicotine and other chemicals they are inhaling.

Comment on this Story

  • JamieBAVaper

    I started June 2012,for my kids to keep the carbon monoxide to a minimum. Best decision ever. My youngest hasn’t had to use his nebulizer since and my lung capacity feels great. This owner and his shops locally have helped plus without a certain employee mixing me a flavor I love, I probably would be ordering only from the Internet and not supporting small business.

    “Vaping” for me is a treat. I prefer super sweet flavors, so I never smell like an ashtray and what I exhale smells pleasant to others. Not to mention it’s like a dessert.

  • The health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial: Within a few hours,the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline and the heart rate will also get back to normal.


    I started using E Cigs in March and I have not smoked another cig since. I have tried every thing possible to quit and never had any kind of success. I am still addicted to the nicotine but I no longer suffer from a smokers cough or breathing problems. I have tried several different stores in Wilmington and I am thrilled that a new one just opened up in Wrightsboro near my home. They have great liquids and with all the choices available today I would never go back to smoking. I have been able to lower the nicotine and not being a smoker has changed my lifestyle in general.

  • A professional

    Don’t minimize the effect of nicotine on the body. It is not benign. It is addictive. It won’t cause cancer but it does cause harm. It is a pesticide – a poison. It changes the brain much in the way that heroin does. It causes liver dysfunction, affects the cardiovascular system, affects the kidneys, and much much more. The ecig- containing less chemicals than tobacco – still contains at least 3-4 carcinogens. The chemical that causes the vapor to form is harmful to the human lung. We have had a few patients with lung disease admitted to the hospital from using the ecig. Studies have not been conducted to prove the safety of the ecig, it is not proven nor does it have a track record for smoking cessation, and there are no industry standards or safety measures. You don’t know where those liquids are made or what is in them.

  • A thankful ex-smoker

    Speaking of the FDA approving them…the FDA doesn’t approve vitamins, but most people agree that vitamins are good for you. I’d like to know what the FDA says about that. Maybe goes to show that the FDA doesn’t know everything. lol

  • Todd

    “Of course, experts say the healthiest alternative to smoking is to give up the habit altogether.

    Though customers swear by electronic cigarettes, they have not yet been proven to actually help people quit smoking. The FDA says because research continues, customers have no way to how safe they are or how much nicotine and other chemicals they are inhaling.”

    Of course, giving up the habit entirely is the most healthy option, but the impact of nicotine by itself on your health is about the same as caffeine. I think that needs to be mentioned.

    Also… to suggest that they haven’t been proven to help people quit smoking is ludicrous. Yes they absolutely have. There are people out there who haven’t touched a cigarette in as long as 4 years thanks to e-cigarettes. About 1/3 of the people who try them stop smoking real cigarettes. In contrast, only about 2-5% of the people who try to quit using patches and gums actually end up quitting. And of those who don’t quit with e-cigs, most of them simply don’t like messing with them, as they are a bit more involved than simply pulling a cigarette from your pack and lighting it. What will it take for them to be considered “proven?” Just because no drug company is promoting these things or testing them doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective or proven to be so.

    Either way, out of ALL devices people use to quit smoking, e-cigs have the greatest(by FAR) success rate… If that’s not “proven,” then I don’t know what is.

  • A thankful ex-smoker

    Wow, that’s odd. I haven’t seen a study yet that confirmed they had any carcinogens at all. The FDA’s study was a joke and in the end, all they could say was that their results were “inconclusive”. Respiratory specialists and doctors all over Wilmington are telling patients to get them. If the patients were admitted with lung disease and they had been smokers, I would assume the cigarettes caused it, not the e-cig. Either way, it is so much better than cigarettes I would hope that a doctor would not advise their patients to quit by using methods that have proven over and over not to work, especially if their top priority is to help the smoker become an ex-smoker. I could lay my e-cig down faster than I ever could have laid a cigarette down. I haven’t had one in 3 years. No bronchitis, no morning cough, no smell….it was the most wonderful thing I ever did.

  • Joey

    I quit smoking over 2 1/2 years ago thanks to the e-cig. I had tried everything else (patches, gum, etc) and nothing worked. This did the trick. I also have at least five friends who have quit with it. It’s a godsend.

  • I quit

    I started using an e-cig since September. I bought it on a Sunday and have not had a cigarette since. It is great. I have taken my nicotine level down from 24 to 11. I totally recommend it for anyone who is trying to quit smoking. Since I started using one, I see them everywhere.

  • the Vapeonator

    I was a pack a day smoker for 29 years. I had tried every method out there to stop smoking. Nothing worked … period!!! When I found the ecig or electronic cigarette 5 years ago it was effortless. I havent had a regular cigarette since. Feb. 2013 it will be 5 years. I now have more energy, breath better, smell better, sleep better and can run again. I just turned 50 in 2012 and feel better than I can remember. Im not making any health claims ….. I’m just relaying my experience with the product. It has changed my life for the better and I’m so thankful for it. I really hope more smokers will give it a try.

  • Guest123

    I may still be addicted to nicotine…but I totally believe in my e-cig…I don’t smell like nasty smoke and I only use it when I “need” it…I am absolutely amazed it continues to work for me…I have gotten several of my friends “vaping”…Suggestion: slowly lower the mg of nicotine over time and lesson the time between “vaping”…it’s really working for me…I feel much better!

  • Jamie

    I purchased my first e-cig in April 2012 from the Vape Hut on Carolina Beach. I haven’t had a cigarette since. It really works!

  • Mandy

    Please stop smoking electronic cigs in places where you wouldn’t normally smoke a cig. You don’t need them in the grocery store, mall, doctor’s office, or the GYM (yes.. I have seen it!)

  • Guest11243

    Electronic cigarettes do not contain the same harmful chemicals that a cigarette does, and therefore by comparison so does the second-hand “smoke”. I think your problem with public consumption of electronic cigarettes is the societal taboo that has been placed on smoking in public. Its two completely different worlds. I use electronic cigarettes in public and I make it a habit to tell those around me of what I’m doing and why. This form of manners and public perception is essential to my vaping experience. However, I have the right to do whatever I want if it is not harmful to those around me. I don’t like going to a grocery store and seeing someone buy tons of alcohol, but I don’t infringe on their right to do so. I suggest the same for you. Keep going down the isle and mind your own business.

  • Some people are never happy. You must gripe every time you get a tiny whiff of cigarette smoke and I get that. But these people are making an effort to change and they are not blowing smoke in your face so get over it!!! People that use these don’t smell. They don’t leave their butts all over the place. They are not hurting anyone. Just because it looks like a cigarette annoys you but you can’t control that and it bothers you. Chill out and stop acting like a spoiled child. You should thank these people for making the change and changing your world one by removing the smoke and smell out of it…one e-cig at a time.

  • Glen

    I have been a user of e-cigarettes for almost a year and I’d like to set the record straight on a couple of points.

    First quote: “Cigarettes have more than 4,000 chemicals. E-cigarettes, Peterson says, have only four.”

    It is incorrect wording to say that there are only 4 chemicals in e-cigarette vapor, even if the general idea being made is mostely true. A more accurate statement would be to say that are generally only 4 ingredients in the liquid that creates the vapor in e-cigarettes. Vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), food grade flavorings, and pharmaceutical grade nicotine. Also, nicotine is optional, and there is liquid available that is nicotine free for those that wish to use the e-cigarette for the habitual aspects and flavor only.

    All of these ingredients have been approved for use by the FDA independently and are generally considered safe, with the exception of nicotine. The studies conducted by the FDA on the effects of nicotine so far have only been related to nicotine consumed using combustible tobacco products, so their data is inaccurate and misleading at best. Their only published study directly related to the compounds found in e-cigarette vapor, which claims the presence of certain “toxins” usually found in traditional cigarette smoke, failed to mention that the levels of those chemicals were well within the safety level for human consumption.

    Second quote: “Though customers swear by e-cigarettes, they have not yet been proven to actually help people quit smoking. The FDA says because research continues, customers have no way to how safe they are or how much nicotine and other chemicals they are inhaling.”

    Most users of e-cigarettes with whom I interact do no view electronic cigarettes as a cessation method, but rather an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. This is what is considered “Tobacco Harm Reduction”, and we all generally understand that no product is 100% harmless. It’s also worth noting that nobody has published a peer reviewed study that shows that e-cigarette vapor poses any long term health risks to the actual user of the device, or that the exhaled vapor by the user contains anything that would harm non-users in any way at all.

    In conclusion, e-cigarettes have been shown to have a greater success rate for keeping people from smoking traditional cigarettes. This is what ultimately matters to anyone who currently smokes, has smoked, or has a loved one who smokes. Or, at least, it should be what matters.


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