Heard on the Street: People turning to e-cigarettes

Vapin Midwest, which opened in February as Rochester's first e-cigarette store, is now enjoying increased attention, as more people are turning to the tobacco alternative after taxes on conventional cigarettes in Minnesota increased on July 1.

The store at 1704 Third Ave. S.E., is owned by Tory Keefe, who also owns Sunshine Sanitation, Tory Keefe Construction and Root River Recycling.

Keefe noticed the e-cigarettes on a trip to Florida, and then his brother-in-law was able to give up his four-pack-a-day smoking habit by using e-cigarettes.

"On Dec. 28 he started it, and three days later, he said I don't think I need cigarettes anymore," Keefe said.

Keefe sells the about 50 different flavors of the Joyetech brand e-cigarettes, including root beer, pineapple, cherry, chocolate and strawberry. Typically, a kit costs about $30 to $80, and it comes with one bottle of juice that's equivalent to 10 packs of cigarettes.


It's been popular especially with younger smokers who like the flavors.

Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but they do contain liquid nicotine. Proponents of e-cigarettes say they're more healthful than conventional cigarettes and that they might help smokers quit tobacco, but critics say too little is known about their safety, and they're largely unregulated, according to Consumer Reports.

The electronic cigarettes have nicotine but no smoke, and you can lower their nicotine level. They're touted as a lower cost, more healthful alternative that helps people quit smoking.

— Mike Klein

Heard on the Street is a daily scoop of business news. Send tips and comments to or call Jay at 285-7742.

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