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posted: 4/10/2014 5:01 AM

Look at the benefits of e-cigarettes

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Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco, nor do they emit smoke. The most popular e-cigarettes, also called "personal vaporizers," used today don't even look like traditional cigarettes. Yet, cities from Chicago to Los Angeles have voted to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.

You cannot categorize a product that is helping people the same way as one that has harmed people for years. When you use your e-cig (vape) you are not inhaling thousands of carcinogens. There is no "smoke" emitted, but water vapor that dissipates in seconds. While vaping mimics the physical behavior of smoking, it is not smoking. Vaping offers smokers a healthier alternative and helps lessen their dependency on nicotine.

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Customers from ages 23 through 73 come into our store every day and thank us, saying they have never felt better. Yes, there is nicotine in the liquid they purchase for their e-cig. However, the majority of people begin at a level of nicotine comparable to what they are used to with their traditional "smokes." Through vaping, they can gradually lower that level.

At least 50 percent of the liquid we sell in our store in Des Plaines contains zero nicotine. The controversy stems from the fact that the electronic hardware and liquid are not monitored in any way. Quality-control and safety measures such as accurate ingredient labeling, age restrictions and childproof caps on e-liquids are important and will only help to make our industry better. Instead of blindly agreeing with the government's plan to lump personal vaporizers with traditional cigarettes, talk to someone who is smoking less or not at all because of these products. We need an educated public to decide what type of regulation is beneficial, not legislators looking for more tax dollars.

John Przybylo

Steve Lotz

Des Plaines business owners

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