Chattanooga Vapor Co. makes switching to “vaping” easy
It’s an industry so new that the language hasn’t yet completely caught up. But what it’s called is “vaping.” That’s the process of inhaling a flavored liquid that has been transformed to water vapor with the help of a little rechargeable battery. Those who partake are called “vapers.” And one of the new Chattanooga businesses catering to vapers is Chattanooga Vapor Company.
In business for six months with three locations, Northshore, East Brainerd and Soddy-Daisy, Chattanooga Vapor Company is “smokin’ hot” these days.
Part of that language challenge is dropping an old term used in the early days (as in a couple of years ago), “e-cigging.” “The e-cig terminology...we’re trying to move away from that and go to vaping,” says co-owner Pramod Potluri, “because we don’t want to associate ourselves with cigarettes in any way.” He says the term brings up bad imagery. “When you hear ‘e-cigarette,’ you still have that mindset,” Potluri explains. “So we like to call it vaping because that’s exactly what it is.”
And as a lifelong nonsmoker, I have to agree. When I walked into the store Monday afternoon, there was no lingering bad odor. In fact, it kind of reminded me of the air freshener aisle at a grocery store. “There’s a smell,” admits Putluri, “but it could be strawberries, or it could be Turkish tobacco.” But it doesn’t seem to linger.
The vapor dissipates very quickly after being exhaled. It doesn’t leave a visible trail, either. No nicotine-stained yellowed walls in the home, no stale smell in clothes or hair—the vapor evaporates from objects as quickly as it does from the air.
Putluri says his customers notice many differences between smoking and vaping. “Customers tell us all day long that once they switch, their sense of smell, their sense of taste completely improve,” he marvels. “They didn’t know what pizza tasted like for the last 30 years.”
He finds most vapers are people who are moving from cigarettes for health and economic reasons. He says with cigarettes there are between 2,000 and 4,000 chemicals present. You light them to the point that they ignite, then you purposely inhale the resultant exhaust.
“When it comes to the liquids,” he explains, “it’s generally some propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine (Glycerol) with some flavoring added.” And while he admits the health effects of the flavorings are approved for ingestion, they haven’t been tested long-term for inhalation.
As far as the other components, they’ve been used for years in the food and medical industries respectively. Both compounds are considered safe according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Vaping can be healthier for your wallet as well. Putluri breaks it down for us: “If someone smoked a pack a day, at $5 a pack, you’re up to $35 a week, so that’s $140 a month. Even if you bought the better unit at $80 to $90, a 10ml bottle of our house ‘juice’ is $5-to-$6, and that’s equivalent to three or four packs of cigarettes.” He says the initial investment of the device quickly pays for itself.
And there’s the fact that vapers can choose the nicotine content of their pleasure. “When someone smoked, let’s say, a pack a day, that’s equivalent to around 12-16mg of nicotine” Potluri notes. “You first want to be able to have a certain amount of nicotine equal to what they were getting when smoking, so that they’re able to make the switch to vaping. And once they make that switch, they can decide whether or not to slowly reduce, quickly reduce [the nicotine content].”
This month, in order to give back to the community, Chattanooga Vapor Company has teamed up with the Chattanooga Community Kitchen to feed the hungry.
Bring in some non-perishable food items listed on the CCK’s website or Chattanooga Vapors’ Facebook page and get 10 percent off your CVC purchase.
Chattanooga Vapor Company
23 Cherokee Blvd.
Mon-Sat: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.