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."