Vaping is a craze quickly spreading across the country as an alternative to smoking. But despite containing nicotine in the products there is yet to be any federal regulation.
That is expected to change very soon leaving local shop owners facing many questions.
E-cigarettes were the alternative Ben Bosworth needed to quit smoking. He believed in the product so much, he opened his own store to sell the products and help others.
"It has been great to see the people come in who are really trying to quit smoking. They’ve tried it in the past but weren't able to do it and now they have an alternative," said Bosworth, the owner of Outlaw Vapor.
Word of that alternative has been spreading quickly. So quickly, the federal government has yet to regulate the e-cigarette industry. That is expected to change this week when the Food and Drug Administration is expected to propose new rules for this new craze.
"It’s going to be tough for us but we do our best and we do what we can to follow their guidelines they put out," Bosworth added.
The call for regulation comes after health organizations say the vaping products are marketed towards kids. They say fruity flavors and bright colors are attractive to teens and liken it to the use of cartoon characters to market cigarettes. But local shop owners say they already do what they can to keep them out of the hands of kids.
"I believe in living in a responsible society so to me it doesn't matter if there is a law or not. it is just the right thing to do,” said Trent Carrell. “I don't feel it is appropriate for anyone under the age of 18."
Carrell opened the Vaping Outlet in Pocatello a week ago despite uncertainty of how the industry will be regulated. The common belief is the FDA will choose to regulate e-cigarettes in one of two ways; as a medical device or a tobacco product. Carrell says he welcomes the additional scrutiny federal regulation will bring.
"This needs more study. It needs to be looked at by different scientists. We are confident in the product's effectiveness and safety. Those facts can be born out," Carrell said.
As for Bosworth, he says he is hopeful the new rules don't snuff out small shops.
“I would rather they regulate it as a tobacco product. If they regulate it as a drug then little guys like me will definitely go out. It will be more taxing as a drug. If it's a tobacco we can deal with the taxes the put on us.”