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by Jeff Barnet

Mike Sussman takes a scientific approach to the task of quitting smoking. That’s not surprising because Sussman, 34, is a research assistant in the New Mexico State University Department of Astronomy, where he is earning his Ph.D. Sussman, who said he smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 10 years, is quitting by using the e-cigarette.

“When I started 10 months ago, my nicotine level was 20 milligrams per milliliter of liquid, which is equivalent to about a pack of cigarettes,” he said. “Now I’m down to 6 milligrams per milliliter.”

The electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is a battery powered device that vaporizes e-juice usually a nicotine-based, flavored liquid. The smoker then exhales water vapor. Just a month ago, an appellate court decision ruled that the Food and Drug Administration can regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, but not as aids to quit smoking.

That ruling was good one, according to Dave Spargo, one of the managing members of JJDS Electronic Cigarettes LLC in Rio Rancho, which owns the kiosk in the Mesilla Valley Mall.

“It is a tobacco product, and I don’t think anyone should start on our product who is not a smoker,” Spargo said. “We do not claim that it helps people to stop smoking. However, I can refer you to hundreds of customers who will tell you that the e-cigarette has helped them to give up smoking regular cigarettes. That’s their claim, not our claim.”

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