ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Matthew Orcutt is concerned about how vaping regulations could impact him.
He’s worried that if vaping is outright banned or if there’s a ban on vaping flavors, he could return to smoking cigarettes.
Orcutt, who says he started smoking when he was 12-years-old, started vaping in 2013.
“I decided one day to instead of making the investment in my weekly carton of cigarettes to break down and buy a starter kit,” Orcutt said.
He remembers the exact date when started vaping, which eventually replaced smoking.
“September 27th of 2013,” he said. “A lot of vapers know exactly what day they started because hopefully that was the beginning of the end of smoking combustible cigarettes.”
The years of smoking cigarettes took a toll on Orcutt’s health.
“Three years before I started vaping my cholesterol levels were high, my oxygen levels were low, my blood pressure was high,” he said.
But his health has improved quite a bit since then.
“I went to the doctor about a year and a half ago and they started checking everything out and said that my lung function was now that of a non-smoker, my cholesterol numbers were good again and my heart rate is as strong for somebody my age as it could be,” Orcutt.
He says sometimes he vapes without nicotine thanks to the flavor options vaping offers.
“Adults enjoy flavors, adults enjoy candies and the longer that you’ve been away from traditional cigarettes and traditional tobacco products the more your tastebuds come back to life and the more you can start tasting things again,” Orcutt said.
But with the potential for a flavor ban on the horizon, he’s worried he may go back to cigarettes.
“The government just needs to step back and take a second look at this and they need to understand that there’s consumers out there that will go back to smoking cigarettes,” Orcutt said.