E-cigarettes striking up controversy - FOX Carolina 21

E-cigarettes striking up controversy

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Customers browse E-cigarettes at WestGate Mall (FOX Carolina: Dec. 20, 2013) Customers browse E-cigarettes at WestGate Mall (FOX Carolina: Dec. 20, 2013)
Customers shop for E-cigarettes at WestGate Mall (FOX Carolina: Dec. 20, 2013) Customers shop for E-cigarettes at WestGate Mall (FOX Carolina: Dec. 20, 2013)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It's almost Christmas, but Charles Seay decided to shop around for something just for himself Friday.

"I thought I would never be able to really lay the cigarettes down until I got on these," Seay said.

As a mechanic with Seay's Automotive, he's used to fixing things, but he just couldn't get a handle on his cigarette smoking habit.

"The tar is what really's so bad for your health," Seay said.

"I smoked for 33 years and two years ago, I was diagnosed with COPD," Seay said.

Now, he buys electronic cigarettes from the Vital Vapors booth at WestGate Mall in Spartanburg.

"I feel a lot better, got a lot more energy," Seay said.

E-cigarettes, as they're called, are battery-powered devices that heat liquid into vapor.

"We have sold more zero strength, which means no nicotine in it, than we ever have. That means people are working themselves off of it," said Cameron Lathlean, owner of the Vital Vapors booth. "It gives you nicotine in a vapor form that satisfies the cravings."

However, some states are pushing to ban E-cigarettes. A study from the American Association for Cell Biology shows E-cigarettes have compounds of benzene and formaldehyde, and that the devices aren't regulated.

"I feel a lot of people have lost money, whether it be state level, federal level, the cigarette companies," Lathlean said.

Earlier this year, State House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, of Greenville, pushed for a law which banned the sale of E-cigarettes to minors. The bill is now law.

But for Seay, E-cigarettes helped him stamp out cigarettes.

New York, New Jersey and cities in California have already banned the use of E-cigarettes where smoking is prohibited.

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