LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The sales of e-cigarettes have quickly ballooned to a billion dollar industry.
A manager, Amy Dozier, at U-Can on South Third Street described how it worked with a nicotine-free atomizer. Each liquid nicotine bottle is $9 a piece and they're an equivalent to a carton of cigarettes. A typical cigarette contains 22 milligrams of nicotine.
"If you are just looking for a safer alternative most of our flavors are an 11 milligram," Dozier said.
But not all news is good. The Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center says calls about e-cigarettes have increased almost 400 percent in the past year. Last year they received nine calls. This year there have been 39 calls so far.
"The significant number of the calls are actually ingestion, whether it's kids picking up the bottles that contain the concentrated nicotine liquid or breaking open the e-cigarette,” Director of the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center Ashley Webb said.
Exposure to the skin can be hazardous as well if the nicotine is absorbed into the skin. The center says the e-cigarette and nicotine bottles have no child resistant caps or warnings.
"We just want everyone to know that this is a potentially toxic substance. Just use caution when you're using it and especially around children,” Webb said.
The American Lung Association says that nearly 400,000 people die each year from a tobacco related disease. Another 50,000 die from inhaling secondhand smoke. Despite the cons, this e-cigarette has no ash, no smoke, no tar, no tobacco, and no carbon monoxide.
"In Ohio where my brother has a store we actually have doctors who support this now. They actually send their customers down to us," Dozier said.
Dozier says she feels like the e-cigarettes are helping people kick deadly smoking habits.
"I look at these people on our walls here and I watch these people who don't smoke anymore," Dozier said.