Fargo, N.D. (Valley News Live): Thousands of chemicals and millions of deaths: health officials have warned about the dangers of using tobacco products for years. But what about e-cigarettes? Those in the industry say it’s safe and helps people quit tobacco. It’s the main reason a local vape shop is having a major event this weekend. But are they just blowing smoke?
"I mean there's propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavoring and nicotine. There all FDA or ADA certified ingredients,” explained Bill Boldenow.
Bill Boldenow is part owner of Infinite Vapor, a vape shop in downtown Fargo. His company is lighting up profits across the nation’s heartland and into Canada.
"We've helped over 40,000 people become tobacco free just in our company alone. Our goal as a company from when we started day one was to be able to help people become tobacco free,” said Boldenow.
Take this story the shop owner told Valley News Live.
"We've helped a 94 year old lady actually become tobacco free that has smoked for 50-something years,” explained Boldenow.
Starting Friday, you can try your hand at vaping for free. Infinite Vapor is giving away 4,000 starter kits to people who want to quit traditional tobacco. You’ve got to have a state issue ID, be over the age of 18 and you have be someone who smokes or chews. But is Boldenow just selling a bunch of smoke and mirrors?
"But we are finding out with some of the literature now that the aerosol that they say is being produced, is not just water vapor. That's one of the big safety concerns that we have,” laid out Debbie Farnham.
Debbie Farnham is a Respiratory Therapist with Sanford Health. She said studies have shown that the vapor put in the air contains heavy metals, there’s documented cases of poisonings and the devices blowing up and the flavored nicotine juice mean’s it’s a prime target for youth.
"They're trying to market them in a sense that it's going to help people stop using tobacco. Unfortunately that's not happening. We're getting a lot more starting up or trying and that number has really increased again with no idea of what the safety is of them or what they're inhaling,” said Farnham.
The bottom line is do your homework. For some people it works, others nothing. But understand the risks before you visit your nearest vape shop.
Fargo Cass Public Health reports e-cig use double the current smoking rate and that nearly 14% of teens had used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days. Again, the free starter kit giveaway starts Friday at Infinite Vapor.