The many flavors of vaping

Local shop has them all
Jun. 10, 2014 @ 12:06 PM

Some smokers have switched to vaping for the health benefits. Others do it for economy. Whatever the reason, Vapor Lounge, a new Thomasville business, offers smokers a plethora of options.

While snacks and drinks are available for purchase, the main products sold there are supplies required for vaping, a new way to smoke which doesn’t require a flame.

Vaping was invented in 2003 in China but didn’t hit U. S. and European markets until 2006. As of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration reported that there are 400 brands of e-cigarettes available.

Vaping devices use a battery-powered heated coil to produce steam from a tank of liquid or “juice” which is available in a myriad of flavors.

Inside Vapor Lounge, Wes Leonard puffs away on a graham cracker flavor. Once a two-pack-a-day smoker, he hasn’t had a conventional cigarette since January.

“There are a lot of people that enjoy [vaping],” he said. “You can fill your tank up with anything. I like all the variety of flavors — there’s even a tobacco fragrance.

Leonard pointed out that, with the endless possiblities, someone is likely to find something they like and stick with vaping rather than going back to smoking conventional cigarettes.

In addition to tobacco fragrance, there are fruits, dessert and drink scents. A menu of flavor options includes “Dewd” which is supposed to taste like Mountain Dew.

He explained that rather than the chemical additives that are in regular cigarettes, vape juices consist of food-grade items including propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavoring, with or without nicotine.

Leonard considers himself a non-smoker since he no longer uses blends that contain nicotine. He says the best perk is the health benefits.

“When I get up in the morning, I feel great,” he said.

Leonard’s former habit cost him an average of $10 a day, or $70 a week.

At the store a complete set-up, including two tanks, two batteries, a  wall adapter with charger and a case costs $46, not including bottles of juice, which start at about $7.

“Once you buy the set up, all you have to purchase is your juice,” said Leonard.

Vapor Lounge owner Glenn Fesko and his wife Alexis Vickers-Fesko starting vaping last year.

“I would wake up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t breathe,” said Vickers-Fesko, who started smoking as a teenager and is asthmatic. “I quit cold turkey but I still had the craving.

“Now when my friends are smoking I have my vapor and I’m good. Vaping has been an amazing alternative.”

When the Thomasville residents researched the area there were no electronic stores in Thomasville. They are happy to be doing business so close to home.

“We’ve had a really good support system from the community,” said Vickers-Fesko.

Vapor Lounge, which is at 108-4 Randolph St., behind Loflin’s, opened April 2. Attendance was high at a May 17 grand opening in which Mayor Joe Bennett cut the ribbon.

Call 472-8273 or  visit Vapor Lounge NC on Facebook.