In America more than 42 million people ages 18 and older smoke cigarettes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That number is going down though, thanks in part to higher tobacco taxes, increased education and electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes have been on the market for less than a decade, but some financial analysts already predict the e-cig industry will surpass regular cigarette use over the next few decades. There are more than 200 brands on the market and more "Vaping stores" are opening every day.
It was one of the coolest things to do in the mid-20th century but due to extensive research and health problems many smokers began to realize that smoking probably wasn't that cool after all. Since then, many alternatives have been created to help people get rid of their addiction but the question remains, why are E-cigarettes so popular?
"Most is for the economic reasons they want a cheaper way to smoke or they want to quit smoking and this is how a lot of people are trying to quit smoking," said David Moore.
David Moore has been owner of the Tobacco Shop on Ross Clark Circle for the past five years. He says customers are flocking to E-Cigs because of an opportunity to get more bang for their buck.
"Their paying roughly around $40 or more a carton for cigarettes," said Moore.
Creating a bigger hole in smokers pockets. Along with health benefits, Vapers conserve financially. E-Cigarette oil comes in 8 or 10 millimeter bottles. That cost around $8.50. These 8 to10 millimeter bottles compare to one carton of cigarettes that can cost up to $46 dollars. That's almost a 40 dollar difference.
The switch allows smokers to enjoy something they haven't done in years, however healthy or not one issue still lingers and that's an addiction to nicotine, a dependency that most find difficult to snuff out.
"Well I think it's kind of a multi-faceted problem. It's not necessarily one specific thing that happens but the causes from doing things like smoking cigarettes, obviously it's all kind of new as far as the E-Cigarettes go but like a cycle different behaviors that occur and can contribute to continue to use cigarettes can relieve stress or to help deal with life issues and stuff like that," said Andrew Hayes, a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Dothan Pediatric Clinic.
Although an addictive substance is still being ingested one advantage of E-Cigarettes is the ability for vapers to take their nicotine level down to zero. A usage that smokers can't receive from regular cigarettes. That's why Moore see's the potential in the young and rapidly growing product.
"Matter of fact I've seen more people quit smoking this way than any other way that I've seen on the market out there," said Moore.
Research is still in the early stages But both vapers and health professionals agree nicotine is an addiction that sticks around. The food and drug administration is currently in the process of regulating E-Cigarettes with rules similar to those of tobacco cigarettes. A current proposal would ban the sale of E-Cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. It does not restrict flavored products, online sales or advertising.