Some doctors concerned over e-cigarette safety and regulation

E-cigarettes have been around for nearly a decade, but some doctors worry that they even though many smokers use them to quit, they could even be more dangerous to users' health.

E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that mimic the sensation of smoking a real cigarette by delivering nicotine through a smoke-like vapor.

Buying them is easy. They're sold to anyone over 18, and you don't need a prescription.

E-cigarette smoker Flow Vera said he's been trying to quit smoking for years, but six months ago, he tried the device, and he swears it's working.

"Now that I've switched to e-cigging or vaping, I've cut down on my smoking," he explained.

He added that it's as simple as loading the device with a flavor of your choice and nicotine in a separate compartment.

Vera said he's gone from three packs a day to a pack a day by using the device, which still contains nicotine. Vera thinks they're less harmful. "Why would so many people want to be vaping now instead of smoking real cigarettes if it was that harmful?"

But, some in the medical community aren't convinced. Pulmonary expert Dr. Hafez Hayek at Conway Medical Center said there isn't any data proving that they're safe.

"Before I would recommend electronic cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, we're going to need more studies, more long-term studies and of course, more regulation and FDA approval," Dr. Hayek explained.

Dr. Hayek added that he's concerned not only for the users, but everyone around them. "That makes me concerned you know, if I have somebody here smoking electronic cigarettes are we exposed to it, to the toxins that we don't know what they are."

But that's not going to stop Vera who explained that as long as it helps him cut down on the real thing, he's all for it.

"If I added up how much nicotine I was taking off cigarettes compared to this it's a lot, lot less," he said.

Dr. Hayek said it may be years before we have better information regarding the potential effects of toxins from e-cigarettes.