E-cigarettes, a New Age smoking

The e- cigarette is a high-tech alternative to smoking but it is not a smoking cessation device, Tredwell said.

"Some people have quit smoking using the electronic cigarette but we make no such claims as to effectiveness for that purpose and e-cigs are not sold for that purpose," he said.

"At Vermont Vapor, all the liquid we sell is mixed entirely by us; we start with 100 percent pure food grade glycerine and add distilled water, nicotine (if you want it), and citric acid to balance the pH," he said. "To this base we add only food grade flavorings-well, with the exception of our tobacco flavoring for some of the liquids we sell. Any of our tobacco flavors we make ourselves from ground tobacco leaves."

So, how safe are Vermont Vapor's e-cigarette products?

"Our e-liquid generally contains only nicotine, vegetable glycerine, water, flavoring and citric acid. Our menthol liquids also contain propylene glycol and ethanol," said Tredwell. "These ingredients are U.S. pharmacopeia grade and/or are FDA-approved food additives. The liquid is heated in the e-cigarette until it forms a vapor, analogous to steam when water is heated. Since nothing is burned, the user never inhales any smoke or tar and only inhales those ingredients listed on each bottle of Vermont Vapor e-Liquid. However, because nicotine is an addictive stimulant, it is always best to check with your doctor before using this product. Likewise, children and persons who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use this product."

Check It Out: To learn more about the science and art of electronic cigarettes, or for an e-cigarette demonstration, visit the Vermont Vapor store at 15 Route 4A West in Castleton. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. You can also check out the company's website at www.vtvapor.com or telephone 802-779-0185 for more details.

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