Jan 2, 2013 7:42 PM by Chris Welty

New Way to Help Stop Smoking

This New Year's some people are resolving to give up smoking, but according to the American Lung Association it takes people on average six to eight times before they truly quit.

Now there is a fairly new alternative to lighting up.

"This is something I never thought I could do."

Pam Begnaud has been a smoker since she was a teenager; a pack a day, a carton a week.

"It's very controlling. Everything you do well let me grab a cigarette. You go outside, talk on the phone, everything involves a cigarette," said Begnaud.

Pam quit smoking three months ago. Before, she used patches and gum, but a vapor cigarette did the trick.

"I started off with 24 milligrams of nicotine, then eventually down to zero," said Begnaud.

Dr. Kelly Cahill with Our Lady of Lourdes says you have to change your mindset and your lifestyle. He says electronic and vapor cigarettes allow you to adjust nicotine levels and you don't have to worry about tar or cancer causing substances.

"It's at a lower dosage, so it's a little bit safer and usually recommended for 2-3 months at a time. However, we can go longer for people who are at a higher risk of relapse," said Dr. Cahill.

The big question though, is it effective when it comes to kicking the habit and are they safe? There's little research since e-cigarettes are so new.

"We do know from looking at data with regards to the lozenges, the patch, and the gum they are safe for people and are generally well tolerated," said Dr. Cahill.

For Pam Begnaud, she says using this new technology has saved her life.

"I ran a 5k and now my husband and I are training for a 10k."

With the new year, sales of electronic cigarettes are up between 10 to 20 percent for one Acadiana store.
The owner of Cheap-O-Depot and Smoke-N-Go says many people are changing to the e-cigarettes not only because of the new year but also because of the cooler temperatures outside.

"This time of year because of the frigid temperatures, people can smoke inside. There's no secondhand smoke, no odors, and it makes it conducive for people to look at this as an alternative," said Fred Hoyt.

Chris Welty



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