By TODD GLASSCOCK
Matt West is learning to kick the habit. “I quit smoking cigarettes about three months ago.”
The 29-year-old Mineral Wells resident smoked for years, starting about age 14, but has since quit with the help of electronic cigarettes and other electronic vaping devices. He took up vaping about the time he quit smoking.
“I don’t crave it [smoking],” he said as he selected flavored e-liquid cartridges at The Baker Vapor on N.E. 1st Avenue downtown across from the Baker Hotel. “I can tell the difference. I can taste.”
Similar stories are told by Chett Witt, 30, and Frank Rollins, 46, customers Friday afternoon at KSD E-vapes on North Oak Avenue downtown.
Witt smoked off and on for about 10 years, but stopped eight months ago after he tried vaping. “I haven’t touched any cigarette in eight months. Now I can’t stand the taste or smell of cigarettes or tobacco products at all.”
Rollins, 46, is trying to cut down on smoking, but finds vaping pleasurable for the flavors.
“I started doing it for the flavors.” He has noticed a side benefit, however, of not craving cigarettes as much.
Although not regulated nationally or endorsed by health officials, the use of e-cigarettes and vaping has recently become popular and relatively accepted forms for quitting or cutting back on smoking, and have become a multi-million dollar industry, according to Forbes magazine.
The City of Mineral Wells currently has no regulations on smoking or vaping in public, however on city council’s agenda Tuesday night is a request from resident Charles Thompson concerning regulation of e-cigarettes.
Weatherford City Council recently adopted a public smoking policy aimed at the city’s food establishments, and use of e-cigarettes was included along with tobacco products as banned in establishments where food is sold, prepared or consumed unless in a separated or enclosed area.