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E-cigarette helps North Iowa man kick smoking habit

This news story was published on December 30, 2012.
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Rick Pierce take a healthy puff from his electronic cigarette while enjoying a beverage at Burke's Bar in Mason City.

Rick Pierce takes a healthy puff from his electronic cigarette while enjoying a beverage at Burke’s Bar in Mason City.  Rick’s friend Andy DeRoos is seated next to him.

MASON CITY – A North Iowa man that had smoked for years says he kicked the habit with the help of an e-cigarette.

Rick Pierce, who lives in Ventura and works in Mason City, says he smoked cigarettes for about 16 years when he decided enough was enough.

“I knew it was time to quit,” Mr. Pierce said.

A solution for his cigarette habit was soon found in a device called an e-cigarette, sometimes known as a “personal vaporizer.”

“I found a cheap version of an electronic cigarette and decided to give it a try,” Mr. Pierce said, before later upgrading to a more expensive model.

An e-cigarette has an inhaler that vaporizes a mixed liquid solution (sometimes called e-liquid) into an aerosol mist, that may or may not contain nicotine. There is a wide range of flavors and mixtures that can be used in the device.

“You can get just about any flavor you can think of,” Mr. Pierce explained. “I made this (recipe) myself. This is a mixture of milk chocolate, almond, honey, all kinds of stuff.”

Nictotine strength in the e-liquid can range from 6 milligrams to 32 milligrams, and the device can be set to burn “hotter” to create a more powerful “drag.”  Mr. Pierce chose an 18 milligram nicotine strength in his e-cigarette.  “I’m allowed to smoke it at my workplace.”

The e-cigarette emits a “harmless water vapor” that is “similar to a fog machine.”  The devices are not outlawed in public places.

“It’s a safer way to smoke,” Mr. Pierce said.  “You don’t get any of the cancer-causing carcinogens.  A lot of my friends are using these, helped them quit smoking.  It’s equally enjoyable to a cigarette.  It takes awhile to get used to it.”

Mr. Pierce gets much of his e-cigarette accessories at

Mr. Pierce also recommended the “Iowa Vapers” group on Facebook for anyone interested in getting off cigarettes and trying e-cigarettes.

“I’m happy to help anyone that wants to get off the real ‘analog’ cigs and switch to electronic or e-cigs because it is the future and I believe it saves lives.  It saved my dad’s life.”

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13 Responses to E-cigarette helps North Iowa man kick smoking habit

  1. Avatar

    toulouse aerospace industry Reply Report comment

    February 28, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Your style is unique compared to other folks I have read stuff
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  2. Avatar

    Rip Washington Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    It should be noted that not everyone who picks up an electronic cigarette does so with the intention to quit smoking. In fact, responsible retailers do not promote electronic cigarettes as “smoking cessation” devices.

    Electronic cigarettes are “smoking alternatives”. They allow users who ENJOY the sensation or experience of smoking to MIMIC smoking WITHOUT inhaling the toxiginens produced from burning tobacco products. The fact that many users actually stop using tobacco products entirely is often the unexpected (but welcome) consequence.

    Nicotine IS addictive, but nicotine won’t kill you (inhaled in the manner typically used by vapers). Burning tobacco smoke WILL kill you, hence vaping is a healthier alternative. It WOULD be preferable to not be addicted to ANYTHING, but many of us enjoy the ritual (hand-to-mouth) we developed as smokers. This is one of the reasons why electronic cigarettes have proven to be much more effective for those who desire to quit smoking than nicotine gum, nicotine patches and…eh..Chantix, which has been linked to suicides and may cause known psychological disturbances. Electronic cigarettes users also experience none of the possible side effects attributed to Chantix like nausea, dizziness, abnormal dreams, and vomiting. Though I’m sure the previous admonition to use Chantix was well intentioned, I would respectfully advise against recommending Chantix as a way to quit smoking.

  3. Avatar

    What a joke Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

    If you use this “vapor” thing and it contains nicotine then YOU ARE STILL A SMOKER !!! Its the nicotine that has you hooked and you are too weak to control it. Continuing to feed you brain nicotine is not quitting! Try using CHANTIX and reading the book, ” the easy way to quit smoking “. You would not believe how empowering that book is until you read it.

    • Avatar

      Arstan Whitebeard Reply Report comment

      December 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      What an ignorant comment.

      You’re still using nicotine, yes. But you are NOT smoking. You are NOT using tobacco. You are not inhaling the 4000 other chemicals tobacco smoke brings, many of them carcinogens. Nicotine by itself is not a carcinogen and is no more harmful than caffeine.

      But you want people to take a drug proven to cause hostility and suicidal tendencies in many people? You’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Do us all a favor and stop being part of the problem.

    • Avatar

      matthew Reply Report comment

      January 17, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Responding to the “joke” comment:

      This is typical propaganda from “ANTZ” or those that see nothing less than 100% cessation from any form of nicotine as “still smoking”.

      Smoking is not the same as “getting nicotine”. Many of us former smokers wish to be free from the cancer-causing agents found in burning organic matter (and other added chemicals) found in traditional cigarettes.

      I am a former smoker. I LOVED SMOKING! Even though it was killing me with each puff, I enjoyed relaxing with a cigarette.

      I switched to an e-cig in Feb 2011 and have been cigarette free since that time.

      I have no interest in nicotine cessation. Even the FDA is actively pursuing comments on long-term NRT use (patches, nic gum, etc) as a way for people to avoid smoking cigarettes. E-cigs are part of this consideration.

      Remember, it is the SMOKE that kills you, NOT the nicotine. Individuals that see nicotine and equate that to “dying from smoking” are misinformed.

  4. Avatar

    Rip Washington Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2012 at 3:11 am

    @Just My Opinion: All vapers (users who inhale vapor instead of tobacco smoke) start with the nicotine addiction. As stated in the article, though, there are various nicotine levels. We start at a level that’s comparable to what we previously obtained from smoking. Some of us maintain that level…some increase. Some, however, wean themselves off nicotine by gradually lowering their nicotine level! It’s not unusual to vape just flavored e-liquid.

    As for the smell, it depends on what you vape. I favor menthol, which is odorless. The only way you can tell I’m vaping is to see me exhale. Flavored e-juice may produce a scent of that particular flavor, be it chocolate, strawberry, etc.)

    Incidentally, I’ve been vaping for close to 4 years now. Switching to electronic cigarettes has been one of my better decisions.

  5. Avatar

    TheRealFred Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Good for him. I don’t know how anyone can afford to be a smoker. Cigarettes is crazy expensive!

  6. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I quit 30 years ago and I still crave nicotine. I only smoked for 15 years. It’s a powerful addiction.

  7. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Anything that helps people quit is a good thing. However, I have read that they are still testing to see if these things are safe. I will say that I know how hard it is to quit. I smoked for over 5o years before quitting over three years ago. It is tough believe me, but damn well worth the effort. The money you save not to mention the health benefits are just amazing. Best of luck to anyone trying to quit.

  8. Avatar

    Jason Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    yes, JMO you still get a dose of nicotine, but you don’t get all the other junk in the smoke. The wife used them for a bit but didn’t like them. I don’t remember a smell to them but she continued to smoke them outside.

  9. Avatar

    Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Interesting, but aren’t you still addicted to nicotine? Is there much smell to it?

    • Avatar

      Anonymouse Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Most of the time the stuff Rick vapes smells kinda like toasting marshmallows.

    • Avatar

      matthew Reply Report comment

      January 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Still addicted to nicotine? Um, probably?

      I crave the caffeine in my daily 4-5 cups of coffee too. We let kids take caffeine (well some people do), not much worry on that front?

      Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, it narrows the blood vessels in parts of your body. To some with high blood pressure, this could be an issue to watch. If you check the list of well known chemicals that act in this way (link below), you will see caffeine is included.

      Millions of people drink coffee each day, some have medical issues because of this. Doesn’t stop the vast majority from drinking coffee/pop/etc.

      My health, ability to breathe have dramatically improved by not smoking. I have no issue continuing nicotine only use moving forward, as I have seen zero studies that suggest nicotine alone is a wide-spread health concern.