STAMFORD — A shroud of smoke often surrounds the staff of the new store at 221 Hope St. Or so it appears.

The white plumes that billow inside the room, in fact, are the vaporized emissions of much of the merchandise.

A surging demand for water vapor inhaled with vaporizer devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, has ignited the expansion of the Norwalk-based Zamir family’s business. Stamford Vapor and Smoke Shop opened last month on Hope Street.

“There was a lack of products around here,” owner Zach Zamir said Monday at the Hope Street store. “We always hear from customers who are driving from here all the way to over there in Norwalk. And Stamford is a big town, business-wise. The one-mile radius around here is like 30,000 people.”

Stamford Vapor and Smoke represents the fifth shop in the Zamirs’ chain. They opened a Norwalk store in 2008 and added two locations in Danbury and another in New Milford. The approximately 2,000-square-foot establishment in Glenbrook, next to a CVS store, offers an affordable and central location, Zamir said.

The shop sells some 400 flavors of vaping liquid, which consists of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. The bottles carry nicotine concentrations ranging from zero to 24 milligrams. Bottles of the juices cost between $10 and $65.

The vaping liquid goes in a battery-operated vaporizer, which converts the liquid into vapor. Vaporizers cost between $25 and $200.

E-cigarettes probably do not pose as significant a health risk as tobacco products, but they come with drawbacks, said Dr. Michael Bernstein, a pulmonologist at Stamford Hospital. Some evidence suggests vaping can increase the risk of pneumonia, Bernstein said.

“Use of e-cigarettes involves the inhalation of formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen,” Bernstein said in an email. “While the concentration is lower than that in conventional cigarettes, it certainly may have long-term consequences.”

Little evidence exists to support vaping as an aid for quitting smoking, but e-cigarettes could help some people, Bernstein said.

Stamford Vapor and Smoke also sells a range of tobacco products, but their share of revenues at the stores has dropped from between 80 percent and 90 percent in 2008 to about 50 percent today.

“The sense is that it is a product that can be damaging to your body,” Zamir said. “I do find more and more people are moving away from tobacco. They still want to enjoy something similar, though they don’t necessarily want the health implications that come with it.”

Patrons must be at least 18. “I like the flavor and what the smoke looks like,” said Alex Mora, 18, of Norwalk. “It’s better than smoking.”

Formerly a pharmacy, the Stamford store was retrofitted and designed by the Norwalk-based Rachinsky Builders. The storefront also includes a humidified cigar room, a display for glass smoking products and an aromatherapy room under construction that will house products such as scented candles.; 203-964-2236; Twitter: @paulschott