While e-cigarettes have been around since the 1960’s, it has only been in the past few years that the business has exploded in the Boise area and the fad has appeared on Boise State’s campus.
Vapoligy LLC is a prominent vaping business in the Boise area whose growth model reflects an overall trend in the vaping
“We’re continuing to grow and expand and just opened up our third location. Business is very steady: a steady growth pattern of approximately 800 percent annually. And that’s been the last few years. It’s grown that much in just a few years and is showing no sign of slowing down,” said Jim Longden, the owner of Vapoligy LLC.
Even as the fad is spreading, however, there is widespread curiosity and uncertainty about what e-cigarettes are, how they work, and what function they serve.
E-cigarettes differ from traditional smokes on multiple fronts.
They are battery-powered devices. Instead of inhaling smoke from the burning of tobacco, e-smokers inhale water vapor laced with nicotine.
“The concept that it looks like smoke and must be bad just doesn’t make sense. It’s boiling water that produces the steam. You could put a popsicle in a pot and boil it on your stove and you would essentially be doing the same thing we’re doing with vaping. We take food grade components, heat them to produce steam, and breathe it,” Longden said.
According to the American Lung Association, there are over 7,000 chemical compounds created by burning a cigarette, many of which are carcinogenic or cancer-causing.
Nicotine is not one of those.
Nicotine is a stimulant, comparable to caffeine, and affects the body similarly.
According to Longden, everything contained in the “Niquid” in an e-cigarette is food-grade product.
“Only the nicotine, which is not a carcinogen, makes it different from what you’re putting in your child’s birthday cake,” Longden said.
Studies like recent research conducted in New Zealand have compared the effectiveness of e-cigarettes to the nicotine patch as quitting aids.
However, there is currently not enough research available to clearly discern the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as quitting aids.
According to Longden, the vaping industry is targeted primarily at helping traditional smokers quit the habit.
“They account for about 95 percent of our business: people trying to get off classic tobacco, whether it be chew, snuff, cigarettes, or cigars.
We are entirely focused on those people and finding a better alternative for them.” Longden said. “A small percentage of our business is people who use vaping without nicotine, just sweet flavors, to counteract food cravings.”
According to Longden, e-cigarettes are an improvement from other cessation aids because their use addresses more facets of the smoking habit than just nicotine addiction.
“There’s a social aspect and there’s hand to mouth habits to address with smoking. That’s where e-cigarettes can come in,” Longden said.
Boise State students have mixed feelings towards the vaping phenomenon on campus, and are uncertain how it will
“As long as they are not hurting the environment or bothering anybody, e-cigarettes on campus don’t really bother me. They look kind of cool,” said Carrie Dalton, a senior year biology major.
Some students have expressed concern over vaping on campus and curiosity about Boise State’s policy towards
“E-cigarettes are different but people really shouldn’t be smoking or vaping on campus,” said Brian Lamb, a sophomore computer science major.