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Using e-cigarettes to quit smokingSubmitted: 04/02/2014

Kaitlyn Howe
Reporter/Producer
khowe@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - Quitting smoking can be very difficult.

Some people have turned to patches, pills or just going cold turkey to quit.

But now, more and more are using e-cigarettes as a way to kick the habit.

And it seems that it's becoming more popular in the Northwoods.

E-Cig Central opened in Antigo in January and they opened another location in Rhinelander in March.

The owner thinks this is a good way for people to quit.

"I've seen people already went from two, three packs a day to cutting out the cigarettes. To cutting out the nicotine, to where they don't even have [e-cigarettes] anymore," says Marcus Welnetz, E-Cig Central Co-Owner.

E-Cig Central is considering building more locations.

Owners believe e-cigarettes are better for you than traditional cigarettes.

"For the most part it has been smokers that either want to quit or find a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. Cause there's far less ingredients in these, no carcinogens. And as far as we know so far it doesn't have any health problems," says Welnetz.

But some think that using e-cigarettes to quit is dangerous.

The juice used in the e-cigarettes can vary significantly by brand, and that's a concern for some.

"There are simply too many unknowns. The product is very new and it has not been regulated by any federal agency. So there might be chemicals or other products in the vapors that we don't know about. A lot of e-cigarettes are produced in Wisconsin, but some come from China and elsewhere," says Maria Skubal of the Oneida County Health Department.

Workers at health department can't say if the vapors from e-cigarettes are bad for others.

Right now it's up to businesses to decide whether they allow people to use e-cigarettes indoors.

The department wants people to look at other options to quit smoking.

"We really don't recommend using e-cigarettes as a safe means of smoking cessation. Because there's just so many other things that come along with them that we don't know about. We recommend using cessation counseling and FDA approved medications as the most effective means [of] quitting."

The health department also recommends talking to your doctor if you're looking to quit.



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