September 07, 2014 6:00 am •
Craig Thompson, a sales associate at Infinite Vapor on University Avenue, uses a mechanical modification e-cigarette while he works. The store, which opened last month, is one of seven Madison-area stores specializing in e-cigarettes to open this year. Wisconsin’s indoor smoking ban doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes, or “vaping.” E-cigarettes are considered less harmful than regular cigarettes, but health officials are still concerned about health effects.
At least seven stores specializing in electronic cigarettes have opened this year in the Madison area, selling what operators and some anti-tobacco advocates say are a safer alternative to regular cigarettes.
But health officials say little is known about the health effects of e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that vaporize liquid nicotine. They worry that many of the flavors available, including sugar cookie and bubble gum, are luring non-smoking youth, who might transition to regular smoking.
Wisconsin bans sales of any nicotine products to minors, but the state’s indoor smoking ban doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes — leaving employers and municipalities to decide if they want to prohibit them…