'Smogless' smoking is booming business

6:15 AM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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BURNSVILLE, Minn. --  The war on smoking has been playing out for decades and some are betting on e-cigarettes to snuff it out.

"I think a lot of people in this industry feel like we are kind of like the little guy maybe taking the fight to big tobacco," e-cigarette business owner Jesse Griffith said Wednesday.

No one in public health is saying smoking electronic is better for you, the jury is still out as no major studies have been done on the effects of it.

What an e-cigarette does is mimic smoking, the user inhales a liquid nicotine as it becomes a vapor once it heats up.

But the fact is in the six years it's been on the market e-cigarette sales are booming.

"The increase over the last 12 months have been pretty dramatic," Griffith, owner of Smokeless Smoking said.

Griffith has opened four brick and mortar Smokeless Smoking shops since 2007 and three mall kiosks with plans for as many as four more stores in the coming year.

Today the e-cigarette business is selling 1 billion dollars of product a year with projections to double next year.

It's fueled by people like Daniel Hook.

A decade long half a pack a day smoker Hook says hasn't touched a traditional cigarette since he inhaled an e-cigarette 18 months ago.

"It takes care of the nicotine craving without so much of the other bad stuff," Hook says.

That's the tale that kept being told at the smokeless shop.

A smoker wanting to trade for what they see is the lesser of the two smoking evils.

"Most of the people who walk in the door are saying I have a bunch of friends that have one of these and they quit smoking so tell me about it," Griffith said.

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