E-Cigs Rise in Popularity, Fuel Health Debate

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CHAMPAIGN - Electronic cigarette sales are on the rise across the U.S., with $1 billion expected by the end of this year.

Locally, too, sales are steady, with most every Tobacco business selling E-Cigs - some even specialize in the product, like Vapors E-Cigs LLC in Champaign.

While many supporters argue that the electronic cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, most health officials aren't so sure.

The devices, which simulate smoking tobacco by causing the user to inhale vaporized nicotine, contain no tobacco.

However, Nikki Hillier, Program Coordinator with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says the products are not FDA regulated, meaning "we don't know what harmful additives are in the product."

Some reports suggest E-Cigs could contain harmful chemical compounds, in addition to high levels of nicotine.

Others, however, believe the product is not only a healthy alternative to cigarettes, but one that can help smokers quit.

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