KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- A "personal vaporizer," commonly known as an e-cigarette, is believed to be the future for tobacco smokers.
The devices are growing in popularity with vapor stores popping up across the Triad.
"Everybody is going to vaporing rather than smoking," said Neill Everhart who turned to the e-cigarette after 20 years of smoking tobacco. "I've been looking for a better way to quit smoking and this has been real successful for me."
The devices run on a battery and vaporize flavored nicotine solutions. Stores sell more than a hundred flavors including solutions without nicotine. Both the FDA and the American Cancer Society say the safety of these products are currently unknown and more research needs to be conducted. Both point out that nicotine is highly addictive and the industry need to be regulated.
"It's insane the amount of new people I see everyday," said Nikki Hogan who opened Lucky Duck Vapors in Kernersville. Manufactures and sellers like Hogan say they want government regulation so customers will know exactly what's in the vapors. "Nothing is wrong with them getting involved in regulating the contents of the e-Cig fluid."
Big tobacco companies, including Lorillard and Reynolds American are getting the business. $1 billion is sales are expected this year and analyst say it could top $10 billion in five years.
You must be 18 to buy the product that is not banned in public areas including bars and restaurants. The FDA is expected to roll out regulations in October.