Jul 19, 2015 12:48 PM by News Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - As e-cigarettes rise in popularity, "vape shops," or places where customers can gather to inhale doses of nicotine through a flavored vapor solution, are popping up across the nation.
Industry officials say California is at the epicenter, with an estimated 1,400 shops. Operating largely without government regulations, these small business pioneers oversee themselves while making hefty profits.
Adherents say e-cigarettes can help people quit traditional cigarettes, and the industry is more about technology than nicotine.
Still, government regulation appears imminent.
State Sen. Mark Leno is pushing a bill to regulate e-cigarettes and related paraphernalia as tobacco products.
Public health advocates say the industry's claims of self-regulation are a sham, with e-cigarette use increasing among minors.
They also note that big tobacco companies are moving in on the booming market.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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