In recent months, the Chicago area has seen a dramatic spike in e cigarette shipments, with some states having banned sales, while others are considering it.
And, with no regulations in place, the local vape shops have been inundated with the e-cigarette business.
The local vape shop in Chicago’s River North neighborhood has seen its business increase by 80 percent in the last year, according to the shop’s owner, Scott Miller.
He said that, at least for the moment, it’s “unregulated.”
But that could change.
Chicago Public Schools is considering a new e-cigarettes policy, which would ban the sale of e-cigs and vaporizers in school buildings and other places of public accommodation.
That policy, if adopted, could lead to a drastic increase in sales, Miller said.
“We’re going to have to close our doors, shut our doors to everybody who wants to come in,” he said.
Vaping is now the only legal form of vaping, but it has become increasingly popular among young people and people with asthma, which can lead to e-cig addiction.
Miller says that’s why he decided to open his shop in the first place.
He told WLS he’s a lifelong smoker, and has tried a variety of nicotine products.
But the flavors he tried in the past have been too strong, he said, and he found he could not get his nicotine to hit the brain like it should.
So, when he heard about e-vapors, he was inspired.
“I just felt like, ‘Wow, I could be a part of this and be able to help kids who are addicted to nicotine and smoke,'” Miller said, noting that he and his family smoke every day.
Miller hopes to serve as a gateway to vaping for other smokers.
“I would hope that my shop would be a place for those who want to try vaping and not just for people who smoke, to try to quit and then to have access to it as a safer alternative,” he added.
Chicago’s current vaping ban is one of many in the U.S. that are designed to curb sales of e cigarettes.
But, unlike other states that have banned sales of the products, Chicago has no regulation for e-liquids.