Have you heard of electronic cigarettes yet?
Summerville's first retail store for the smokeless nicotine-delivery devices has just opened at Berkeley Circle, behind Walgreens.
ECIG Charleston has its grand opening Friday and will offer a 20 percent off special through the weekend.
Electronic cigarettes are touted for being relatively harmless when compared to their cousin, the cigarette, but some of those claims have not been verified scientifically. Anecdotally, however, the vapor is less noxious and less irritating to those around the fumes.
Forbes.com reported less than 3 percent of American adults have tried electronic cigarettes, but that the industry is more than just a fad. It's an estimated $500 million annual industry.
And that's what the owner of ECIG is betting on: his shop will be the first of many, and he's just ahead of the curve. ECIG Charleston began two years ago in West Ashley, inside a tanning salon. That location is still open.
"It's something that's growing," operations manager Taylor Hawkins told Patch.
So far, much of the electronic cigarette market has been online and not in brick-and-mortar shops, but Hawkins said with so many brands and flavors, it can get overwhelming for the consumer. At a retail shop, consumers can get advice and get fitted with the right equipment for their nicotine needs, she said.
A start-up package can start as low as $25 and smokers can save as much as 50 to 75 percent off the traditional cost of cigarettes, Hawkins said.
ECIG is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Click here to visit its website.
Edited 4:55 p.m. March 1 to correct a typo, as noted by a reader in the comments below.