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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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 IN OTHER NEWS

MARINETTE COUNTY - A 90-year-old man died in an ATV crash in Marinette County late Saturday afternoon.

According to the Marinette County Sheriff's Office, it happened private property north of Newton Lake in the Town of Athelstane.

90-year-old James Bosanny was driving the ATV with his 64-year-old son, James Bosanny, Jr., on board. He lost control on a small hill after hitting a plow before the ATV accelerated and hit a tree. They both were thrown off the ATV. The 90-year-old died at the scene.Crews took the son first to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette and then later taken to a hospital in Green Bay for serious injuries.

The sheriff's office says neither was wearing a helmet. Police don't think alcohol or speed played a part in the crash. 

Crews are still investigating. James Bosanny, Sr., was from Monroe, Wisconsin, and his son, James Bosanny, Jr., was from Hortonville, Wisconsin. 

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RHINELANDER - In between the rain Sunday, people got outside and on the water.

Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander held its annual Paddle Sport Demo Day at Hodag Park.

People were able to test out kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards for free.

The owner of Mel's trading post, Mitch Mode, likes this day not only try and sell some equipment but to also get feedback from people about the different boats.

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NORTHWOODS - Memorial Day Weekend means the return of snowbirds and tourists.

Tourism is a big industry here in the Northwoods.

Many businesses have reopened for the summer, but the people coming to the Northwoods aren't just from the surrounding states.

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CONOVER - The rain fortunately stayed away in Conover for a part of Sunday afternoon just in time for the grand opening of the Conover-Phelps bike trail.

The project has been years in the making, and now it's ready to ride. A couple hundred people and local leaders came out in support of it.

"There's a real feel for people being enthusiastic about this," said Jeff Currie, the President of Great Headwaters Trails, which helped lead the bike trail project.

It's supposed to connect Conover to Phelps through nearly 11 miles of paved trail. The first part is open and goes from Conover Community Park to Muskrat Creek Road.

"3.2 miles on the ground and ready to be ridden on biked or hiked," said Brian Blank, the chairman of the Conover-Phelps Trail Capital Campaign.

"When people hear about a town and then when people say, have you seen their bike trail, it's just, right away it's like there's more to that town than I thought there was," Currie said.

While not yet complete, project leaders are hopeful the trail will be finished soon. Project leaders say the second part of the trail, about five miles long, is fully engineered but about 60 percent funded.

"We're about $200,000 away from completing the remaining five miles," Blank said.

"You know that funding could come, and when it does, five miles of trail in two or three months will be on the ground," Currie said.

"I have no doubt in the next couple years this trail will be completed all the way to Phelps," said Gary Meister, the vice president of Great Headwaters Trails.

The trail is non-motorized so, no ATVs allowed, but it will be a snowmobile trail in the winter.

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MERRILL - Steven Jopek carries a number of memories with him on Memorial Day.

"This will be our 9th Memorial Day where he hasn't been here," said Steven.

This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the last time he saw his brother, Ryan, in person.

"He would be 30 on June on 1st," said Ryan's sister Jessica Holmgren.

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RHINELANDER - You can only learn so much reading from a book or sitting behind a desk.

So Friday, Crescent Elementary School kindergartners got out of their classrooms and into Rhinelander. The students learned about their community they see every day, but might not fully understand.

"The goal today was to get the kindergartners out throughout Rhinelander to see the businesses and what type career opportunities," said kindergarten teacher Julie Gerth.

With the help of Partners in Education and a Hodag School Foundation grant, the students visited Grace Lodge assisted living, Covantage Credit Union, Trig's and the courthouse.

The kids also got to see a firetruck, police car, and a public works vehicle at Pioneer Park. The field trip was designed to show off what the community can offer them now, and in their futures.

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The 22nd annual car show attracted cars and visitors from all over.

The streets of Tomahawk were filled with more than 200 cars of all different kinds. Main Street Memories car show is a Memorial Day tradition.

"You know 22 years going strong, and we're proud of it," said Tomahawk Main Street director Christine Vorpagel. "Tomahawk Main Street, we're all about historic preservation and sustainable development."

For many spectators, car shows are another way of learning about American history.

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