Lakeshore News Tonight

E-cigarettes Light Up Interest, Issues

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November 6, 2013 — Smoking cigarettes can be a dangerous habit, and a local business is helping people kick their nicotine addiction.  A growing desire for electronic cigarettes has a Region business wanting more people to stop smoking and start vaping.

Walter Stotts knows that kicking a smoking habit can be tough, “I smoked for 35 years, and I started vaping a little over two years ago and never picked up another cigarette.”

The opening of the new business, Vapin’ n Hobart, and in Valparaiso, has customers claiming victory over what is often called “the cancer stick.”  Co-owners Donna and Walter Stotts launched the electronic cigarettes business in may after Walter’s personal experience to stop his smoking habit.  He says vaping is satisfying, just like his squares, minus the smell and the dangers, “You get the same feeling when you inhale vapor.”

Tom Schroeder manages the Hobart store.  He sees a steady flow of customers who range from diehard fans to those vaping for the first time, “Device that is used for an e-cigarette is a combination of a battery and an atomizer.  This is your battery.  This is rechargeable.  When reconnected to the atomizer it makes an electrical contact to heat up the liquid to make a vapor.  The liquid is a kosher, acceptable, consumable liquid with whatever level of nicotine you desire.”

“The adjustable nicotine levels are why the Stotts got into the business.  Customers hoping to quit the tobacco product and switch to electronic cigarettes can start out with higher levels of nicotine and slowly decrease to no nicotine.  Stotts says compared to the large number of chemicals in regular cigarettes, the liquid, also called juice, for e-cigarettes contains four ingredients.

“One of the four is water.  So, now you’re down to three actual ingredients.  The thousands of chemicals in a cigarette versus the three ingredients.  I look at it as common sense, thousands or three.”

Customers can choose from more than 60 liquids to fill their e-cigarettes.  The popular juice is tobacco, but candy favorites like bubble gum and chocolate can also be vaporized.

Schroeder says, “Sweet Tarts is one of our popular flavors because it tastes just like Sweet Tarts.  Fruit is popular and coffee.”

Schroeder says what’s even sweeter is the savings experienced while vaping.  While it can cost $50 for a carton of tobacco cigarettes, the liquid that comes with a starter kit costs $10.

Stotts not only wants the new habit to be affordable;  he wants it accessible, “If they don’t have the time and they are out of liquid and they need a replacement part and they can’t get there, their changes of going back to cigarettes are much greater.”

There are a few policies at Vapin’ in Valpo and Hobart:  no sales to people younger than 18, and the liquids used for vaping only come from companies in the United States.

By Renetta DuBose


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