BI first explored the vaping phenomenon in April, when business reporter Audrey Dutton wrote about Vapoligy, a Garden City business founded by a couple in 2011.
Since that article, vaping has become much more visible around the Valley. So we asked reporter Katy Moeller to take a fresh look at vaping in this week's edition.
Retailers catering to vapers have proliferated. You can't pass a tobacco shop without seeing a "We know vaping" sign or something similar. Specialized vaping shops seem to spring up every week in previously vacant storefronts.
This can't go on. The local vaping surge has the signs of a rush, a sudden flood of supply for a market whose demand cannot be rising fast enough to sustain all those businesses. A shakeout is inevitable.
Or is it? At least one store in Moeller's story sells internationally via the Internet. Maybe online sales will help local vaping shops survive. Maybe one of them will find success with a French-fries-from-Idaho-potatoes vapor flavor.
Brad Wiskirchen, the CEO of Boise's Keynetics, told an Idaho Private 75 luncheon audience Oct. 24 that Idaho needed to become known for something that would attract people, that would stop business executives in other states from asking him, "Why Idaho?" Maybe vaping is the answer.
Yes, I'm kidding. I'm sure that's not what Wiskirchen had in mind. But Valley of the Vapers does have a certain ring to it, don't you think?