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E-cigarette sales soar nationally and in Wisconsin

Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio

E-cigarette sales are booming, and local stores that sell the nicotine delivery devices say business couldn't be better.

Infinite Vapor has 11 shops across the Midwest, including one on the east side of Madison. Joseph Schneider, the manager of that location, said business is brisk and the industry is quickly expanding.

“When we came here in Madison there were three vape shops,” said Schneider. “Now there are seven and it's only three months later.”

Schneider says Infinite Vapor markets mainly to tobacco smokers who want to quit. However, some companies don't want any association with tobacco cigarettes, referring to them as 'analog' or old school in a digital age.

“Obviously e-cigarettes, they're a huge thing,” said Schneider. “They're set to take over traditional analog cigarettes within the next two years. I firmly believe that's going to happen.“

Another brick-and-mortar vape shop in Madison, MadVapor, is capitalizing on the e-cigarette craze. Aidan Rueckl, the shop’s owner, said sales have tripled over the past several months with a wide range of customers.

“The demographic I've seen the most of, surprisingly, is 30 to 50 years old,” said Rueckl. “I don't get a whole lot of the younger crowd. I even get people as old as 80 through the door.”

The federal government is moving towards heavier e-cigarette regulation. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and require disclosure to the government of what ingredients make up the liquid inside e-cigarettes.