Smokers Are Using E-Cigarettes to Get High

Some marijuana users may see the same benefits of e-cigarettes as smokers

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Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

A woman smoking an e-cigarette

Marijuana smokers are using electronic-cigarettes to get high, say local reports from across the country.

Electronic cigarettes are a growing industry in the United States, having ballooned from $300 million in retail sales in the U.S. last year to $1.8 billion by the end of 2013, according to Bonnie Herzog, a senior tobacco industry analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.

Marijuana users are seeing some of the same benefits in the devices, which produce a vapor of nicotine liquid or, in the case of marijuana, cannabis oil, liquid, or wax, that can be inhaled without the inconvenience of smelly, carcinogenic smoke.

Marijuana users, who explain their methods of using e-cigarettes to vaporize cannabis liquid in videos online, can make their own hash liquid and put it inside an e-cigarette, a lithium battery-powered device that heats liquid into vapor.

Local reports from Florida, New York, and Philadelphia, have reported on the trend of using electronic cigarettes to vaporize marijuana, citing concerns of parents, law makers, and law enforcement agents who worry that electronic cigarettes allow users to get high without detection. Both products are legal in some states and not in others, making enforcement even more challenging.

While states and cities across the country have begun to limit the use of electronic cigarettes–banning their sale to minors or indoors–the federal government has yet to regulate them, raising concerns about their safety. TIME explored the pros and cons of vaping in a feature on electronic cigarettes in September. While electronic cigarettes are believed by many in the public health field to be safer than regular cigarettes, without regulation by the FDA, there is no way for consumers to be sure about the safety of the products they are buying, whether they contain nicotine or marijuana.