Geoff Vuleta was in the crowd at a Rolling Stones concert last year when Keith Richards lit up a cigarette on stage, the arena’s no-smoking policy be damned. Feeling inspired, Mr. Vuleta, a longtime smoker, reached into his pocket and pulled one out himself. People seated nearby shot him scolding glances as he inhaled. So he withdrew the cigarette from his mouth and pressed the glowing end to his cheek.
His was an electronic cigarette, a look-alike that delivers nicotine without combusting tobacco and produces a vapor, not smoke. Mr. Vuleta, 51, who has a sardonic humor, clearly relished recounting this story. He is the chief marketing officer for NJOY, an electronic cigarette company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and it is his job to reframe how everyone, nonsmokers included, view the habit of inhaling from a thin stick and blowing out a visible cloud.