CUMBERLAND - Peter Ouellette has been using an e–cigarette for 4 weeks
now. He's been a smoker for nearly 30 years but in the last month, he hasn't had a single Newport.
He's trying to quit for his kids.
"I've seen a lot of people get sick from it so... it's a big
health thing," he said.
Ouellette stopped in to the new City Vapor and E–Cig store
in Cumberland, the first of kind in Rhode Island, to get met more info on the product.
"If you want a healthier alternative to smoking this would
definitely be the place you want to go. There's no carcinogens in any of our
oils or anything like that so it's all pretty much all organic," said Mark Conant of City Vapor.
But Tobacco Free Rhode Island tells us labels can be
misleading... especially since e–cigarettes and vape–pens are not
approved or regulated by the FDA.
"Please don't be fooled that this is an effective and safe
way to quit right now... There's no tobacco as such so you're not taking in the
tar, but right now we do not know what else you're taking in," said Karina Holyoak Wood, Director of Tobacco Free RI.
She says the same goes for second hand smoke from e–
cigarettes. Without knowing what's in the product, there's no way to
know if what you're exhaling is healthier than cigarette smoke.
But Ouellette isn't worried. He says he's done his research, and that the electronic cigarette is the only method that's
working for him.
"I'll try to get rid of the nicotine 100% eventually, but
this is a step in the right direction I think," he said.
In Massachusetts and New York, e–cigarettes
are banned wherever regular cigarettes are... and Tobacco Free Rhode Island says they'd
like to see that happen here.
Proponents of the electronic version say the products
shouldn't be treated the same way as their tobacco counterparts.