Jason Magnuson has a boo box.

It's a small cardboard box filled with tiny vials of flavors he mixed up to accompany the nicotine used in the electronic cigarettes he sells.

The box holds the flavors that failed.

"Kona coffee," said Magnuson, owner of Wyoming Vapor Co. in Casper. "It's awful -- it tastes like cat hair."

The boo box is named after a box full of scorpions used to punish a hapless character in the 1991 Robin Williams movie "Hook." Unlike the dire end for the character, Magnuson uses the failures to find the good ones, the flavors that will be hits.

"Sometimes they interact with each other weird, sometimes you come up with something that's absolutely delicious," he said. "You fail more than you succeed though."

On shelves and on a list posted on a whiteboard behind the counter at his store at 507 N. Beverly St. are the flavors that work: applewood tobacco, black jelly bean, strawberry apple, vanilla bean, little candy hearts -- just in time for Valentine's Day. There's Wyoming Sunset, a flavor Magnuson describes as tasting like a mix between the cocktails known as fuzzy navel and sex on the beach.

"I've got over 1,000 flavors, I could mix just about anything you imagine," he said. "But to get the mixture right so it tastes like something you want in your mouth? That's really hard."

Electronic cigarettes consist of a rechargable battery, a small atomizer coil powered by the battery, and a container for liquid -- which includes nicotine and often flavors such as Magnuson's. The liquid drips on the battery-powered heating coil, atomizing the liquid into a vapor to be inhaled.

It's not smoking, Magnuson insists. It's vaping.

"It's not smoke, it's vapors, so therefore we're not smokers, we're vapers," he said.

E-cigarettes come in many types and sizes, including various sizes of batteries -- big batteries will run the e-cigarette longer between charges. Prices for the e-cigarettes Magnuson sells range between $39.99 and $110.

Magnuson got into electronic cigarettes about five years ago, after his smoking habit was making it hard for him to breathe. After making the switch, he said his lungs cleared up.

"It's science-fiction smoking," he said. "It's the greatest thing on earth."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't feel the same way, although it admits e-cigarettes haven't been fully studied. But it claims users also don't know if e-cigarettes are safe, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are inhaled during use, and if there are any benefits associated with using e-cigarettes.

In an October bulletin, the FDA said it "intends to regulate other nicotine-containing products, including electronic cigarette products that do not make a therapeutic claim, in the future."

Magnuson is a vocal opponent of such regulation on the Wyoming Vapor Co.'s Facebook page. He's also involved in the larger "vaper" community and hosts a weekly web show on VapeTV.

In Magnuson's experience, the Casper smoking ban hasn't gotten in the way of those who want to use e-cigarettes. The city's ban on smoking in public indoor areas doesn't cover e-cigarettes, and Magnuson said bar staff hardly ever have a problem with it when he checks with them.

"Every single one of them, I pull it out and they're like, 'You're fine,'" he said. "I don't even get a chance to ask the question."

Reach Jeremy Fugleberg at 307-266-0623 or jeremy.fugleberg@trib.com. Read his blog at http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/boom/ and follow him on Twitter: @jerenergy.

(6) comments


its a good thing old kimmy pie did not get her way she was going to outlaw them too. I for one do not care to suck on a candel, so ill leave this one to you all to use. and as the smoking ban is being reviewed, hopefully we got rid of the morons who wanted it the most anyway in the election, and got some comon sense folks on the council now that can see this was nothing more then a way to control, it was never about weather they wanted to come to smoking establishments, because where are they? who knows they are not in the alibi or the sandbar or the vfw's, moonlight, ect. they are safe in their litle world of the elite anti anything thats fun, how boring their lives must be.


Fun story. Magnuson seems to enjoy what he does for a living. He's sort of like an ecig bartender. I love the boo box.

Electronic cigarettes can offer a great way to relieve stress while weaning off tobacco. http://www.electroniccigarettereviewguru.com/best-ecig-brands.html has reviews of the top 20 brands.

Rose Smith, ECRG
Never quit quitting!


I agree that e cigs are a great way to quit smoking. It is a good idea to test different flavors to see which ones will be the most successful. http://chooseecigarettes.com/


I think e cigarettes are very safe if people only use them to quit smoking for good. I have heard a lot of success stories with e cigs. http://www.ecigator.net/

kelly banks
kelly banks

so the ones who found all the bad chemicals associated with regulars cancer sticks i have yet to hear that they found e cigarettes to be harmful i admit i was skeptical of it but is it not a lot like using a vaporizer? all i gotta say is stop trying to scrutinize and focus on the things that are really harmful to the human race just because its not what you would smoke or do it doesn't deem it unsafe. whatever tests you ran to find all the harmful agents in regular cigarettes run the test on the vapor emitted from the e cigarette if there is nothing harmful to the environment GIVE IT UP if there is you better ban everything that emits vapor! quit focusing on everything that gives pleasures we as humans need in our lives that don't cause harm. Get a life!!!!!

Melynda Duke
Melynda Duke

Electronic cigarette is the best fit for a people, who actually trying to quit smoking.Because e cigarettes are the initial steps towards it. I have been also using e juices and i got great relief. I must say if you are a smoker and really want kick this deadly habit so you have to try e cigarette once.

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