E-Cigarettes Rise In Popularity Despite Health Reports

By ABBY THEODROS | atheodros@whag.com

Published 04/06 2014 04:48PM

Updated 04/06 2014 07:35PM

FREDERICK, Md. - Calls to U.S. poison centers regarding exposure to e-cigarette chemicals has sky rocketed since 2010.

According to the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calls have gone up from one person a month in September 2010 to 215 a month in February 2014. Even more alarming, the study shows that more than half of the calls reported to poison control involved children younger than six. Yet despite these findings, locals are saying the cigarette alternative is a life saver.

"This is saving my life. Literally saving my life. My doctor has told me 'Just keep doing it. Keep doing it' because he can tell already that my lungs sound better," said Elaine Ferro, who switched to e-cigarettes after smoking for over 30 years.

Ferro hopes to eventually transition to not smoking at all.

In a statement, CDC director Tom Frieden said liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous. A recurring notion from health officials that has not stopped the popularity of the $2 billion e-cigarette industry.

"You know that it's not regulated at all by the FDA when you're vaporizing these e-liquids and putting them into your lungs but you're basically looking as if its less harmful than cigarettes," said James Kendrick, an e-cigarette user.

A logic that many e-cigarette smokers use and health officials continue to debate over.

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