‘Vaping’ Community Gathers for Bimonthly Meet in Madison

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — The electronic cigarette and vaporizer craze continues to grow here in North Alabama. It’s not an FDA approved way to quit smoking cigarettes, but it is an alternative. It’s also one that so many people are taking advantage of, that it’s becoming more than just a trend. It’s about holding each other accountable.

“It’s a community and it gets people off of cigarettes, and as long as I can grow that and make that better, and make it a part of it, I’m more than happy to do so,” said Will Thompson. Thompson told WHNT News 19 that he saw a need for the ‘vaping’ community here in Madison County. Once every two months, he sets up an event for people to come together, share stories, buy products from vendors, and encourage each other to keep kicking the cigarette habit.

“When you are first getting off cigarettes, while a vaporizer will you know help get past the need for a cigarette, there’s still a little tick,” he said. “There’s a social component to smoking, going outside there is a ‘smokers circle’ so have you, you go outside any bar or business you see 5 or 6 people outside smoking cigarettes.”

The back room at Madison Bowling Center was filled to the brim Sunday afternoon with ‘vapers.’

“I haven’t smoke since August 19th, 2012,” said Curt Reynolds with a smile on his face. “Yeah, that’s a date you’ll remember.”

A sweet aroma traveled through the air. It looked like puffs of smoke, but it wasn’t. “No one knows what a smoker’s going through,” said Reynolds. “For people just getting off cigarettes, having other people to talk to can be very helpful.”

It’s a social gathering, but it’s more than just that. It’s a family. It’s a support group.

“Let’s be honest,” said Thompson. “Alabama is one of the worst states for cancer due to smoking so if we can help put even the smallest dent in that by getting them over to vaporizers and off cigarettes, why wouldn’t you?”

Note: The CDC says while it appears that e-cigarettes don’t have anywhere near the toxins found in smoke from traditional cigarettes, the long term health effects of vaping e-cigs or vaporizers could take years to determine.  Vaporizers contain liquid nicotine instead of tobacco which turns into vapor that smokers inhale. You can also get the fluid without any nicotine in it.



  • Gail

    I think this is fantastic. I vape and I enjoy it about as much as I did smoking. I was always a heavy smoker and with the e cigarette I have been tobacco free for 10 months. I think Alabama is losing a lot of tax money because more people are vaping. I spent 50.00 a week for cigarettes and now I spend 20.00 every month or 2. Maybe they need to tax liquor more now.

  • Randall

    Thank you for being an honest reporter. It’s to terrible to see so many Rupert Murdock owned newspapers doing hit pieces on aa cancer busting product. The pill companies are losing sleep big time!

  • Robert Copia

    On March 23, 2014, the New York Times published an article by Matt Richtel, “Selling A Poison, Liquid Nicotine For E-Cigs”. The article is based on the FACT that pure liquid nicotine is extremely dangerous to have around. Ingesting it can kill a person and exposure to the skin is also very dangerous.
    E-liquid should be prepared by a chemist or someone with training to deal with hazardous materials. In regards to the finished product the cartridges or the bottles of e-liquid, pure liquid nicotine accounts from zero to 3.6% of the solution. If you get it on your hands wash them, if some leaks into your mouth rinse thoroughly with water.
    E-cig liquid and cartridges should be kept out of reach of children along with other hazardous items around the house such as prescription drugs, cosmetics, cleaners, plants toothpaste etc.
    Fluoride toothpaste contains sodium fluoride which is a hazardous waste product from making fertilizer. It is used in rat poison and pesticides.
    Children have died from eating toothpaste and fluoride treatments.
    Nicotine gum and lozenges are also hazardous if ingested by children.
    Mr. Richtel reports that there were 1351 calls to poison control and 365 emergency room visits in 2013, involving e-liquid.
    The Centers for Disease Control reports :
    1. 832,000 people were seen in the ER room due to unintentional poisonings in 2013.
    2. 91% of the 39,000 poisoning deaths in 2013 were the result of drug overdose.
    3. 60,000 children each year are in the ER room each year because of drug poisoning.
    The New York Times had the paper and the ink necessary to provide information on other poisoning dangers around the home.
    They chose not to which makes me believe that the liquid nicotine article is part of the campaign to put ecigs out of business and protect the Pharmaceutical Industry, which sells expensive smoking cessation products which include the mind altering, psychiatric drugs Chantix and Zyban and their dangerous side effects, suicide risk etc.
    BLOOMBERG News, Feb 19, 2014, “Glaxo Memo Shows Drug Industry Lobbying On E-Cigarettes”
    This PROPOGANDA campaign makes ecigs out as a “GATEWAY” which will lead children to actual smoking. RIDICOLOUS.
    The Center For Disease Control, “33% OF 8TH graders drank alcohol in the last 30 days”
    National Institute of Health, “23% of high school seniors used marijuana in the last 30 days and 6.5% use it daily. These facts do not seem to concern the politicians..
    A fear campaign aimed at ‘hopelessly addicted smokers” to dissuade them from trying a “personal nicotine vaporizer”. How disgusting.

    • Wake Up

      Robert, I have learned that often facts do not matter with many people in this part of the country. They prefer emotion and knee-jerk reaction. Thanks for trying!

      • Stop Crying

        If you don’t like this part of the country or the way people are here, you have the option to leave. Every article that I read on here, you are whining about something new. I also love how you have the time to sit online all the time to reply.

      • Saul Alinsky

        Your right wakeup, these people need to stop smoking ,and buy our leaders, health care, its the right thing to do, support our leader.

  • tim

    I would be willing to take the money i have saved since quitting analogs and join a class action suit to block state and federal government from regulating or taxing when they try ! its coming ! because you know both are seeing dollar signs from taxes and could care less about our health.

  • Sheryl Martin

    Just like most everything else, MONEY is the motivating factor in the desire to ban or tax the e-cigarette industry. Forget the benefit to people’s health. I, too, would be willing to join forces to block state and federal government from putting their hands out, or to stop big tobacco company’s efforts to ban it all-together. True enough, the long term affects may not be known just yet, but I guarantee it can’t be any worse than what RJ Reynolds puts in the analogs, and most likely it is far better. As far as the poisoning issue, guns are also a threat to children, as is anti-freeze, drain cleaners, laundry detergents, etc. What do we do, ban them all? Just like with any other potential poison, PARENTS must behave responsibly and not leave it laying around!!!! Do you leave your cigarette lighters in arms reach of the little ones????

  • ariel

    the fact that it is not FDA approved tells me its probably good for you, seriously the FDA allows chemicals in our food that are not only banned in every other country but have been proven to kill people and cause horrible side effects just look up aspartame and brominated vegetable oil those are fun ones

  • Kristie Muecke

    I smoked for 17 years, I learned about vaping 2 months ago and haven’t smoked a cigarette since i love the taste and my kids r so proud of me and my husband. We feel so much better since we no longer smoke cigarettes. I think vape is awesome!

  • Tawana Gail Smith

    I am a 50 yr old who has smoked since i was 11 yrs old i have COPD had kidney cancer and still would not give up cigs, with the ecig i have been quit smoking since 8/2/2013 i dont lay in bed and cough all night or do i give marlboro $150 dollors a month my grandkids are not living in fear that im gonna die of lung cancer. If you ask my family ecig is the best invention yet.

  • Jim M

    I am 100% for E-Cigs.. Cigarette Smoking was a hot topic in my family for years. My mother came over to my home only about 5 times in 4 yrs since we dont allow smoking in our home. It made her uncomfortable not being able to smoke in our home she said. Overall it was pretty petty that she would chose cigarettes over her grandchildren. I understand the addiction but to pick it over family is pathetic..Since my mom started using E-cigarettes it has changed our family life dramatically. No more drama about people not accepting them etc..Much better. I am a 100% supporter of the E-cigs and I think it is wonderful that such a product exists…It makes family life much easier without all the drama..

  • Halei

    So glad there is finally positive light on the vaping community! I love my vaping family!! Lets keep it up! So proud to be apart of the North Alabama Vaping Community!

  • arnie

    i’m a 36yrs smoker and i support vaping because its the one that helped me quit smoking, the patch the nicorete gums made me sick but ecig made me feel better and my love ones around me is much happier because i’m a 36yrs smoker and not anymore because of ecig, now im helping my neighbor who smokes 3packs a day i gave me a starter kit with my own money just to help him he loved it and imagine he havent touch a cigarette ever since, so you all ecig haters out there hate the analog because this cancerous cigarette is the killer and not ecig, i rest my case lol

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