Electronic cigarettes are so hot right now. Everyone from moms to teens to Leonardo DiCaprio — seen puffing on one at the Golden Globes on Sunday — is buying up the handheld vaporizers, and they’ve undeniably ushered in a brave new world of nicotine delivery. Their makers and owners claim they help smokers quit, are easier on the lungs, and do away with many of the downsides of traditional tobacco products. But the trendy technology is so new, so untested and unproven, that state and local laws have struggled to keep up, and health officials remain skeptical of the purported benefits. What follows is an in-depth look at how Santa Barbara thinks, feels, and deals with e-cigarettes, and where shifting opinion and pending regulation may be headed.
HAZED AND DIFFUSED: Collin Walker puffs away on his "mod"
Inside the E-Cigarette Revolution
Santa Barbara Vaping Business, Health, and Law