Pros and cons of e-cigarettes - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Pros and cons of e-cigarettes

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Many smokers are using the electronic cigarettes to quit the real thing, but there could be negative effects. 

"By the time I was thirteen, I started smoking cigarettes, and the battle started to try to quit, over and over again," said Nancy Henry of Alexandria. "And every time, I failed."

That is, until Henry discovered e-cigarettes, an electronic device that delivers nicotine in an inhalable vapor.

"And I remember I was walking through the neighborhood, and then I was running, and all of a sudden I took a breath," said Henry of her first month without smoke. "And I almost felt lightheaded, and my chest felt different."

Henry says "vaping" has allowed her to quit real cigarettes - and she's not looking back.

"At that point I realized this is something that's really going to make a difference in my life, so I stuck with it," Henry said. "And here I am, three years later."

The medical community is much more hesitant to endorse e-cigarettes. Extensive research has yet to come out, but local healthcare professionals say there's a dangerous societal impact.

"The health risks are probably less, though this has not really been studied," said regional health director Dr. David Holcombe. "But it maintains the habit of smoking, and it maintains the visibility of smoking. And from that standpoint, it's bad thing."

Nancy Henry says "vaping" may be the lesser of two evils, but it's helping her toward the ultimate goal of ditching smoking all together.

"I'm still dealing with the nicotine addiction," said Henry. "But to me I feel like I'm in more control, and I'm doing less harm to my body as I find ways to get through it."

Because e-cigarettes are not marketed as a smoking cessation option, they are not yet under the same scrutiny by the FDA. 
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