Shopping Centers Today

OCT 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 18 of 59

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 / S C T 19 Both as an activity and as an indus- try, vapingis relatively new. The earli- est e-cigarettes — pen-shaped, bat- tery-powered devices that emit doses of vaporized nicotineor else non-nic- otine solutionsinstead of tobacco smoke — were introduced in China in about2003 as a tool for helpingciga- rette users quit the habit. As smoking regulations in the U.S. and Europe became more stringent over the pastdecade or so, e-cigarettes corre- spondinglybecame a popular option for smokers seeking a nicotine fix in social settings. With the introduction and growth of custom kits and fla- vored solutions, vaping has since developed a set of enthusiasts as dedi- cated to thehobby as any cigar smoker is to his or hers. The market is growing quickly. Con- sulting company P&S Market Research is forecasting thatthe global e-cigarette business will reach $48 billion by 2023. There has been an influx of investment capital. Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, acquired a min- ority interest in Avail last year. And Miami-based Vapor Shark, a chain of 35 stores, was recently acquired by Louisville, Ky.–based Turning Point Brands, a publiclytraded company. Larger chainsand many indepen- dentsproduce proprietary lines of e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, or "juice." Many feature a lounge, or "bar," where patrons are encouraged to watch TV, read magazines and generally relax as they sample different flavors. (Avail is known for introducing such flavors asTortuga,which has a taste resem- bling Key lime pie and rum.)The vari- ety keeps consumers coming back, but it has also brought increased scrutiny from regulators and from municipali- ties that fear such concoctions make vaping dangerously appealing to kids. Despite their explosive growth, vape shops face many obstacles to long- term health, among them an uncertain The VaporFi location in the Washington, D.C., Georgetown neighborhood is decidedly upscale

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