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E-cigarettes help smokers quit

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It's the latest trend for smokers looking to quit.

Electronic cigarettes haven't been on the market that long and some organizations have safety concerns and are skeptical of their effectiveness for knocking the habit for good.

Electronic cigarettes are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but we still found plenty of smokers willing to give it a try, with the hope it will lead to quitting altogether.

Both fit in your hand, contain nicotine and are inhaled but Justin Suriff says there's a big difference between traditional cigarettes and the electronic version.

"It's basically a better alternative to regular tobacco cigarettes," said Suriff.

Better, says the manager of the Create-A-Cig store, because of what the e-cigarettes don't have.

"You don't actually get any of the tobacco or the other 4,000 carcinogens that are in cigarettes," said Suriff.

Here's how they work.

Suriff explained, "With each cigarette you have your battery. You have your cartomizer or atomizer, as you would put it, and that actually vaporizes the nicotine and the flavor. Then, you have your drip tips. That's where you put your mouth on."

They come in a variety of style options, flavors and nicotine levels.

So many of their customers have seen success quitting smoking, the word of mouth is spreading and now, they have five stores.

"I started smoking in 1985...until today," says one customer named Sammy.

Sammy wants to quit for his three kids.

"If I run, maybe I'm gonna die," Sammy said. "My friend, he used to smoke three packs every day and now, like two months, he no smoke."

Suriff added, "We see it almost every day that healthcare professionals are recommending people come in."

"It's a different feeling. Like, you don't feel the gunk in your lungs, you know," said Branden, who says he's just a social smoker, but wants to quit anyway.

"Just the health benefits. I have a son. The smell of it, just everything. Everything that goes along with smoking is just not good for me," Branden said. "It tastes like white chocolate...It tastes a lot better than a cigarette."

Justin doesn't just work here, he's also a former smoker.

"It's not like the patch. It's not like a nicotine gum. It's not like anything else on the market," Suriff said. "I purchased one of these myself and it really helped me quit smoking." 

Eventually, users quit altogether or keep puffing just for the flavor.

"Thousands of people have quit already," Suriff said. "Any of my friends of family that were smoking already have one of these and definitely are on the edge of quitting, if they haven't all quit."

A rep with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released this statement; "E-cigarettes have not been scientifically shown to be effective tobacco cessation tools, yet some distributors are marketing them either directly or indirectly for that purpose...We're calling on the FDA to determine if e-cigarettes are safe for use and whether they can help youth and adults avoid actual cigarettes or quit the habit. We also urge the FDA to test these products to determine their potential as cessation aids so consumers have the best information available when deciding how to quit."

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