LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's a common new year’s resolution: to quit smoking. So, many people turn to alternatives like vaping. But is that really a safer option?
It's the topic of a new documentary called A Billion Lives. No major medical group in the United States recommends vaping, but this new film raises questions.
Three years ago, Bill McCullough was a pack-a-day smoker who wanted to quit.
"I smoked for a long time,” said McCullough. “I started when I was 12-years old. A little over three years ago when I found vapor it was the answer to me for the way to quit smoking tobacco."
He then tried e-cigarettes.
"I feel a whole lot better than I did. I can get up and walk across the room and not get the huffs and puffs."
After his success, he opened a vape store in Little Rock.
"A lot of people are very successful in quitting with it. I have a quitters board where once people have gotten to the point where they can say they're are done, they can sign. As you can see there's a lot of names on there."
So is McCullough's experience a quitting success story or a cautionary tale about trading one unhealthy addiction for another?
The answer is complicated, and a source of heated debate and a new documentary.
"We're really on the same side, but we're getting a lot of resistance from the government."
The FDA began regulating e-cigarettes last year. It says the devices have "both potential benefits and risks" and has banned their sale to minors.
"I talk with my doctors about it, but they really don't want you doing anything. That's one thing we really don't claim that vapor is no harm, it's just less harm."
Enlisting a variety of personalities ranging from doctors to the former Winston Man, A Billion Lives explores what's behind anti-vaping legislation.
McCullough said the movie argues that vaping is a safer option for the one billion smokers around the world.
"Nicotine is not the devil that a lot of people make it out to be."
The Arkansas Department of Health also cautions against potential risks associated with vaping.
The screening for the documentary will be January 11 at North Little Rock's Regal McCain Mall Stadium.