Electronic cigarettes gain a following - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Electronic cigarettes gain a following

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Cigarettes are going up a dollar a pack this summer as part of a new tax that has a lot of people looking at smoking alternatives.

Currently, a popular alternative is known as electronic cigarettes. They're biggest draw? They can be used in doors.

The "E-Cigs" are sold at most cigarette stores, and store managers say it's essentially a nicotine delivery system; however, it is not a cigarette.

E-Cigs do not produce smoke; instead, they emit water vapor when used. But like a cigarette, smokers say it serves the purpose they search for.

"It feels a lot different but you still get the nicotine craving out of it," smoker Jacob Wasemiller said.

Yet the Department of Health, and even cigarette store managers want to make one thing clear. It's not necessarily a healthier option; it's simply an alternative. Most E-Cigs still have carcinogens in them and other chemicals to harm health, but many long time smokers are making the switch.

Cigarette store workers say they're selling more electronic cigarettes because of the current smoking limitations. After Washington became the 5th state to implement a law banning indoor smoking in places such as restaurants or bars, electronic cigarettes started to gain a following.