TULSA - A Tulsa cardiologist says evidence that e-cigarettes have become an effective way to quit smoking continues to mount, and he's put his money where his mouth is by investing in a local company.
Dr. Steven Dobratz spoke exclusively with KRMG about his reasoning behind that investment.
"The e-cigarette offers a different way of doing it (quitting) that more mimics traditional smoking," he said. That makes it more effective than traditional patches or gum, according to new research.
"There's a recent study, just came out this month in Lancet, that actually showed some superiority to e-cigarettes over traditional nicotine patches," Dobratz said.
The Lancet is a British publication, considered one of the leading medical journals in the world.
Dobratz adds that research here in the United States also tends to support the notion that "vaping," as it's called, is safer than smoking.
"Traditional smoke has over 4,000 carcinogens, and vapor has -- at least according to the CDC -- maybe four potential carcinogens," he told KRMG.
E-cigarettes use a battery to heat a liquid into a vapor form, which is then inhaled much like traditional cigarette smoke.
Proponents say it's much less expensive than smoking, doesn't stink like cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, can be used in many locations where smoking is forbidden, and comes in literally thousands of possible flavors.
Dobtratz is an investor in Palm Beach Vapors, which operates several stores in Oklahoma and Texas and has begun offering franchising opportunities around the world.
They have begun a campaign in which customers can receive a 25% discount on a new vaping kit.
The customers bring in their last pack of cigarettes or can of snuff and sign a pledge to quit the tobacco habit to receive the discount.
Area locations include 4010 South Yale Ave., 8751 North 117th East Ave. in Owasso, and 122 W Will Rogers Blvd. in Claremore.
A Bixby location, 11845 S. Memorial, opens October 1.