Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ecigarettes Trigger Big Sales and Lots of Questions

What started out as an online, underground fad is now a billion dollar business. Electronic cigarettes- often called ecigarettes, really aren't cigarettes at all because there's no tobacco, no flame and no smoke. But there are still a lot of questions about where they can be used and whether they pose a health risk.

Esmokeronline store manager Dave Allen says ecigarettes are becoming so popular that his business, which began as an internet site being run out of a bedroom, now has two brick and mortar stores with plans to open a third. Ecigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes, but they’re electronic. When inhaled, they convert a nicotine laced liquid into a vapor that when exhaled looks like smoke. It’s called vaping.

The liquids come in dozens of flavors like watermelon, bubblegum and caramel.  The devices themselves come in all kinds of fashionable and customizable styles. You can choose from neon pinks and greens, goth designs, bling designs or even a wood-toned executive look.  Allen says all those choices bring customers in the door.

“Or you get a lot of people coming in to just ask about how to get started in this whole thing and how it can help them quit smoking,” he says. Cheryl, a customer who declined to give her last name,  says that’s what brought her in. A smoker of 40-years, she says nothing she’s tried has brought her even close to quitting. “Chantix, hypnotism, acupressure…. Let’s think, yeah, been there done that,” she says.