With smoking banned just about everyplace except for that tiny spot behind the loading dock, more committed nicotine fiends are turning to e-cigarettes, battery-powered, cig-shaped devices that you can dangle off your lip just about anywhere. Proponents say they offer a healthier alternative to tobacco for smokers who have trouble quitting. But health concerns have led to warnings from the FDA that the fakes contain cancer-causing ingredients. Oops.
Inside: Poll – Would you “smoke” e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are primarily sold online and in mall kiosks, and a starter kit goes for around $50. According to Matt Salmon of an e-cig trade group, smokeless smokes are already a $100 million market in the U.S. and are popular among frustrated smokers.
“The ideal user for this is someone who is a committed, longtime smoker,” Salmon said. “Their spouse doesn’t want them in the house because they smell. There’s no acrid odor or secondhand smoke with this. It doesn’t leave a smell on your carpet, clothes or draperies.”
However, e-cigarettes have already been banned in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and other countries. And the FDA is continuing to review them. But smokers like John Wisniewski still see them as a potentially healthier alternative to tobacco. “I can’t keep going on like this and inhaling all these carcinogens,” the smoker told the Detroit Free Press.
Battery-powered cigarettes catch on with consumers [Detroit Free Press]