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Electronic cigarettes are a growing business in Oklahoma

OKC Vapes owners Stephanie and John Durst estimate at least 40 e-cigarette retail locations operate in Oklahoma, a vast difference compared to other states that typically have just two or three of these stores, John Durst said.
BY HILLARY MCLAIN hmclain@opubco.com Modified: June 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm •  Published: June 24, 2013
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/articleid/3855655/1/pictures/2140937">Photo - Stephanie and John Durst pose with some of their more elaborate e-cigarette products in the OKC Vapes store located on 3710 NW 50th St. in Oklahoma City. Photo by Aliki Dyer,  The Oklahoman
Stephanie and John Durst pose with some of their more elaborate e-cigarette products in the OKC Vapes store located on 3710 NW 50th St. in Oklahoma City. Photo by Aliki Dyer, The Oklahoman

Depending on the amount a person smokes per day, the amount of nicotine they'll use in their device can vary from 6 mg to 26 mg. There are even options of zero nicotine for those who may have quit smoking, but still want the sensation, John Durst said.

Currently, regulation and taxation on these products is not widespread.

While the e-cigarette is still a young product, federal regulation is minimal so most regulation is taking place at the state or local levels, according to the Wells Fargo research.

“We think e-cigarettes are more than just a fad; however, we expect increased regulatory scrutiny and taxation of the products in time,” according to the survey.

In the Oklahoma legislature, House Bill 2097 was recently voted down, but would have addressed taxation issues for nicotine delivery products like electronic cigarettes.

Other legislation deals with selling age restriction on these products, like SB 802, which would set the limit at age 18. The bill would also set a five-cent tax on the products.

Despite of any impending federal or state regulation, industry members say electronic cigarettes are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Wells Fargo's research reports at least 2.5 million users of the devices.

A further 43.8 million people are estimated to be smokers in the U.S., so the market is widespread.

OKC Vapes, which has been in business since June 2011, isn't concerned about fading away.

As Stephanie Durst said, “There's plenty of smokers, there's enough to go around.”


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