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Vaping series part five: Quitting

SALT LAKE CITY — All week long we have been exploring e-cigarette use and trends in Utah. Today, we finish our special series with a look at quitting.

16-year-old Kierra switched from smoking to vaping because she says she thinks it’s healthier.

“And instead of buying a pack of cigarettes every day for 7 or 8 dollars, I buy a 10 ml bottle of e-cig liquid every two weeks for 8 dollars,” she said.

The adult cigarette use rate is down. It’s now at 8.7 percent, according to the Utah Department of Health. At the same time, e-cigarette products are exploding in growth.

Six years ago, there was one vape shop in Utah. Now there are 100.

Aaron Frazier with the Utah Smoke-Free Association calls them small business owners who are helping smokers quit.

“The landscape of this industry has completely changed,” he said.

But it doesn’t seem that smokers are moving all the way to from tobacco cigarettes to nicotine e-cigs.

“We know 36.7 percent of those who vape in Utah also smoke. That’s dual use,” said Brittany Karzen with the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

“If you do choose to use an e-cig, science says quit cigarettes completely and move completely over, to reap any benefit from the process,” she said.

Karzen recommends FDA approved products and ways to quit, found at http://waytoquit.org/, like patches, gum, lozenges, and calling a quitline or getting coaching. These ways will make a person 2 to 3 times more likely to quit successfully.

“It’s a hard habit to kick. We need to be more supportive of those wanting to quit,” she said.