More major cities, like New York and Chicago are banning e-cigarettes over fears of unknown health hazards of the booming industry. The crackdown is inciting an uproar among users who swear "vaping" is a much healthier option than smoking.
Why is it so popular? We went to a 'vaping room' to find out.
The brick storefront of the Steampunk Vapory Lounge in Tacoma seems unassuming enough. Inside we found a group of customers who at first glance appears like they're smoking. But then you notice the contraptions they're holding, and a cloud that smells nothing like smoke.
Attorney Jim Oliver is co-owner of the lounge, a place where you can buy and vape e-cigarettes.
"This is a basic starter kit, that comes with a battery, a tank, and a filler bottle for the tank," Oliver showed us.
Customers can choose between 60 different flavors of of juice, all locally made, that contain varying amounts of nicotine.
"You can get nicotine in increments from 6mg to 12 to 18 to 24, which would be like a non-filtered cigarette, really strong," said Oliver.
A heating element vaporizes the juice, which the manufacturer claims has only a few ingredients, but they have yet to be scrutinized by federal regulators.
"It has four components, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and food flavoring, and it doesn't have the other 4000 chemicals of cigarettes," explained Oliver.
"It's not smoking, it's vaping," said Rick Roberts, who switched to e-cigarettes after smoking for more than 25 years. "You're not inhaling smoke. You're inhaling vapor."
Roberts insists he kicked cigarettes through vaping.
"Improved my life," said Roberts. "I'm breathing better, being more active. Just all in all, just feeling great."
Health experts remind us that nicotine is still a toxic drug, and that electronic cigarettes have not been approved for use as an aid to quit smoking.
Regardless what the makers say is in the products, they have not been approved or tested by the FDA.
As the FDA and local jurisdictions move to regulate electronic smoking, users worry a clamp down will drive people back to big tobacco.
"It's going to make it harder for the producers of these devices and these juices to get things to market," said Oliver. "It's going to make things more expensive and people will either continue to smoke or go back to smoking, and that's not good for anybody."
Oliver says at least a third of the customers at this lounge are trying to quit smoking altogether and don't want to see an alternative to cigarettes go up in smoke.