CRESTVIEW — A store that sells electronic cigarettes is coming to South Crestview.
Construction on Vapor Planet is ongoing at the former Shell gasoline station on South Ferdon Boulevard, near the Interstate 10 overpass. The gas pumps and canopy have been removed, and the retail lot will soon have a new parking lot and renovated building.
Owner Shannon Ikner — who, along with his wife, Shelia, is an active electronic cigarette user — said there are numerous benefits to using battery-powered cigarettes instead of regular tobacco.
“We have had hundreds of people quit smoking tobacco (cigarettes),” he said. “You don’t have the second-hand smoke or that nasty smell.”
This will be Okaloosa County's second Vapor Planet store, Ikner said. He opened the first location last year in Fort Walton Beach.He also owns a store in Navarre and is considering bringing a store to Niceville.
“We have had several customers, who regularly come from Crestview, who are waiting for this (store) to open,” the Fort Walton Beach resident said.
Ikner said he would like to have the store open Aug. 15, but nothing's official.
The business will operate in 1,600 square feet of a 3,200-square-foot building managed by NBI Properties. No one has leased the other half of the building, an NBI representative said.
The Fort Walton Beach business has a lab where the liquid nicotine, used in the battery-powered cigarettes, is produced and sold at each location, Ikner said.
Once opened, the store will operate 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 6p.m. Sundays.