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PANTEGO -- Despite appearances, this store in Pantego is packed with non-smokers.

We don't want to call it smoking, because you're not smoking, explained assistant manager Suzann Swortz. It's vaping. It's all water vapes.

Electronic cigarettes deliver vaporized nicotine infused with exotic flavors. They don't contain tar or any of the other cancer-causing toxins of tobacco.

It's basically saved my life, Harold Neal said.

Until two months ago, Neal had smoked two packs a day for 22 years.

I can breath now, and walk up stairs now, he said. I feel good.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-in-five adult smokers has tried an e-cigarette. Because they are marketed as a means to quit, sales of e-cigarettes are expected to top $2 billion this year.

Wow is right, said Lyndee Davis. It's phenomenal, actually.

Davis started Vixen Vapors out of her home two years ago.

Now we have 25 employees, she said proudly, And we're looking to open five more stores in the next couple years.

The FDA is studying the safety of e-cigarettes. Right now, the only regulation is that no one under 18 can buy them.

But unlike real cigarettes, the trend of vaping is smoking.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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