Expert says e-cigarettes could be effective in quitting cigarettes or even more addictive, depending on how regulated
TOPEKA — Four years ago, when Rick Hasan first started selling electronic cigarettes, they seemed destined to be little more than a novelty, he said — the same as compact pipes and other smoking accessories available at his store.
"People were curious, but few kept buying. They would go back to the real cigarette," said Hasan, owner of Payless Smokes, a convenience and tobacco shop in Topeka. Now, "the e-cigarettes are taking up quite a bit of market share."
These days, e-cigarettes account for 15 percent of his sales, he said. Nationwide e-cigarettes are booming, with annual sales projected to reach $1.7 billion by year’s end.
The battery-operated devices — which vaporize liquid containing nicotine — have yet to be regulated by the federal government, though officials have pledged for two years now that they ultimately will be.