TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - David Hunter started smoking cigarettes when he was 13-years-old.
Now 62, he's trying to give up the old habit for the first time.
"There are more people my age that are trying or quitting tobacco products. You know, they say it's healthier," Hunter said.
He plans on taking up cigars instead.
"I walk in, just the smell of its intoxicating," he said.
Hunter isn't the only one making the transition over.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Consumption reports that the overall use of tobacco products have decreased almost 30 percent in the last 12 years.
However, the use of non-cigarette smoked tobacco products increased by 123 percent.
"Pipe sales and cigar sales in Terre Haute alone have started picking up quite a bit, especially among college students," Wabash Cigar Store Inc. Manager Bryan Brickey said.
90 percent of Wabash Cigar Store's business accounts for cigars and pipes.
Within the last four months, employees have seen between a 35 to 40 percent increase in pipe sales alone.
It's a major attraction, and it's more cost effective.
"I can buy a two ounce bag of pipe tobacco for the price that I buy a pack of cigarettes for and that one little bowl barely puts a dent in a two ounce bag of pipe tobacco," Brickey said.
It's also more natural with less preservatives.
"All around, it's a better experience, you can enjoy different types of tobacco and also many, many different flavors. Every body has a certain flavor that they like," he said.
It's a habit that seems to be dying off as customers make the switch over.
"People will always smoke; they will," he stated.
However, regardless of the method, folks assure smoking will never go away.
Since Indiana initiated their smoking ban, Wabash Cigar Store has seen a 70 percent increase in electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes consist mostly of water vapor, and are allowed in restaurants and bars.
Hunter mentioned that his cigarette sales have increased as Illinois customers make the drive over to avoid the higher tax.
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