E-Cig business booming in Eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

E-Cig business booming in Eastern Iowa

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The electronic cigarette business is growing, as smokers look for alternatives. Instead of burning tobacco, e-cigs create a vapor that users inhale.

Luke Tschantz opened Hawkeye Vapor last August starting with a kiosk at Westdale mall. On Wednesday they opened a vapor bar off of Wiley boulevard and on Thursday they plan to open a kiosk at Crossroads Mall in Waterloo.

"We have about 300 customers that rely on us every month for their fluids," said Tschantz.

Tschantz spent three years in Hawaii and saw the business expand from one store to 13. He hopes the same will happen in eastern Iowa."From what I saw in Hawaii in the short time where they expanded from one store to thirteen in a matter of three or four years, I do. Basically you take that model and you bring it here. Smokers are smokers anywhere you go and so if it can work there definitely going to work here," said Tschantz.

But the growing business still comes with some concern.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study this month finds a dramatic increase in e-cig related calls to poison centers.

One per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, with more than half involve children under age 5. The study says kids are eating, inhaling or absorbing the liquid through their skin or eyes.

"People are not aware of the fact the nicotine levels in this liquid from are so toxic and so even small amounts ingested whether in an adult or youth could lead to overdose of it," said Annemarie Goldhorn, Pathways Behavioral Services in Waterloo.

To keep teens from picking up the trend, the FDA is considering age restrictions.  As far as Tschantz's business he says he'll only sell to people over the age of 18.

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