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.