"We Get It...You Vape!"

Category:  News
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 10:13 PM
We Get It...You Vape! by Tracy Geibel

You see a big cloud of what looks like smoke coming from the box-shaped contraption, in the hands of a young man reclining on a couch indoors. You might cringe and ask yourself, “Can he do that in here?”

The man was probably vaping. Those who vape inhale water vapor and exhale it out, often leaving large clouds of water vapor lingering in the air for a few moments.

By-passers might worry about breathing in secondhand vapor. If they do inhale any of it, they would be exposed to propylene glycol and about three millionths of a gram of nicotine, according to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). They state such a minimal amount of nicotine has no significant effect.

Though the water vapor that people inhale while doing this is different than the smoke that someone would inhale when smoking a cigarette, some vapes have nicotine in them.

However, not all of them have nicotine, and users can select ones with different amounts of nicotine. They can have as much as 28 milligrams or as little as none.

Student, Logan Bell, usually chooses to use options with six milligrams. Bell began chewing tobacco when he was 14 years old. He continued the habit into college, but it was something he wanted to stop.

“My best friend and his stepdad were both pretty heavy smokers,” Bell said, “and he quit and does this and just vapes.”

A Huffington Post article by Dorit Sasson states e-cigarettes were 50 percent more effective than a nicotine patch for those looking to quit smoking.

A 2015 report, “E-cigarettes: An evidence update,” by A. McNeill, L.S. Brose, R. Calder and S.C. Hitchman, argues that despite the perception e-cigarettes are just a dangerous as cigarettes, using an E-cigarette can be a 95 percent healthier option when compared to ordinary cigarettes.

ACSH’s Nicotine and Health says nearly all tobacco smokers are addicted largely because of nicotine, but for other reasons, too. Smoking creates habits and rituals that can be difficult to change, while the tobacco and smoke possibly plays a role in the addiction, too.

But nicotine is the reason the study called a cigarette the “most addictive product sold legally,” which means vaping with nicotine can be just as addictive.

Bell wasn’t worried so much about a nicotine addiction, but was most concerned about the effects of chewing tobacco, especially the bad breath.

He and his girlfriend, Lauren Parent, went to Godfather Vape, a store in Butler, Pennsylvania, because they were interested.

“We had a good experience with it,” Bell said. “The guy we went to see at the Godfather Vape shop… was so nice and accommodating and taught her [Parent] on the spot.”

That’s when Parent decided to invest in one. Then, Bell bought his first vape about a week after Parent got hers, but he didn’t like it. “I wasn’t really getting a lot of flavor,” he said. “It just always tasted really bland, so I went back to chewing snuffs.”

Then, he got a different vape. It was a more expensive one, but Bell believes it was worth the extra money. It is an iTaste box mod and he says he can get a lot more vapor and flavor with this one.

“I think it’s more the whole oral fixation, not the nicotine part for me,” he said. “I’d like to say I’m not addicted to anything — I don’t know — but maybe I am.”

He doesn’t ever have any instances where he just “has to” go outside and vape, and it has helped him to minimize his chewing tobacco habit. He only chews on rare instances now, simply because he still has some left. Instead, he uses his vape daily.

Parent only vapes once or twice a week with the juices that contain little or no nicotine. She will only occasionally choose to use the ones with three or six milligrams of nicotine because those are the only options for some flavors.

“I’m not hardcore into it at all,” Parent said. “I don’t consider myself to be addicted to nicotine at all.”

She will use her vape most often in social situations, for example if she is at a party or spending time with friends. Before vaping, she would smoke a cigarette in the same sort of instances.

Sometimes, people will compete to blow the biggest cloud of smoke or will blow “Os” with the vapor. There are even formal competitions outside of the parties where friends sit around and spend their time striving to outdo the person beside them. According to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, the first Vapefest was held in Richmond, Virginia in March 2010.

At one party, Bell lost his vape “about 20 times,” as so many people wanted to try it. Even one girl who Bell had never seen with a cigarette asked to use his vape.

“Everybody wants to hit it and people who don’t smoke regularly seem to feel safer to try this. They know it’s vapor, and they know it will taste good,” Bell said.

“I had to walk around my house, find it, grab it off the person, put it somewhere, and later I’d go to get it and it’s gone.”

The same thing happens with Parent. People frequently ask to borrow hers. “I wish people would respect it like cigarettes,” she said. “If someone buys a pack of cigarettes, you don’t typically hear people asking for one because they are so expensive, but if someone asks for one, they usually exchange a dollar or a flavor.”

She says the juice is expensive, comparable to the cost of a box of cigarettes. The price varies greatly by the type of juice that someone buys. Some cost about $6, whereas others are as expensive as $25.

“I don’t think most people realize that,” Parent said.

Some people even make their own juices. Neither Bell nor Parent do this, but they know of people who have even built their own mods to vape with.

“You are either hardcore into it and want to build all your own stuff, or you just do it, like me,” Parent said.

She mostly enjoys the fruity, tropical flavors. One of her favorites is called Gangster 187, a flavor she can only get at the Godfather Vape shop.

Bell has a running log of the flavors he likes on his phone. Beside the flavor name, he has a rating. He considered caramel candy, admiral berry crunch, peach rings and cinnamon roll to be “excellent.”

“There’s every kind of flavor possible,” Parent said, “and you can mix them together, too.”

Bell mostly orders juices from the website for Rocky Mountain Vaping, but there is also Misthub or Godfather Vapes. TXO Vapor is located at the Millcreek Mall, directly across from Victoria’s Secret. It sells juices and has a lounge for customers to relax and vape.

“There’s already a market out there for the luxury brands,” Bell said. “It’s like cigars or something, there’s like a name that’s ‘better.’ I really don’t think it matters; it’s like somebody out there said I have a better product.”

Tracy Geibel is the executive editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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