MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- As more and more people try to quit smoking, the electronic cigarette industry continues to gain ground, including here in Rutherford County.
Nowadays, many people are switching to smoking electronically, also known as “vaping.”
Over the past few years vaping has been becoming more and more popular, so popular that vape shops have been popping up around town to service the many people who have made the switch.
“Smoking has a negative connotation attached to it, so we prefer the term vaping,” said Edberg Phaphanthong, a sales manager at Urban Vapes.
Urban Vapes, located at 2962 S. Rutherford Blvd., is a family owned shop that has recently opened here in Rutherford County, but it is not the only one that has recently opened.
Patriot Vapes, located at 147 W. Northfield Blvd., recently opened its doors as well, only a few months after Saffire Vapor launched its first retail outlet in Murfreesboro.
“The reason we’ve chosen the products we retail is simple: They’re the best e-cigs on the market today,” said Robert Arnold, the owner of Saffire Vapor, which is based in Chapel Hill, Tenn.
“With these revolutionary e-cigs, you get the feeling of smoking, but without the traditional smoke of your typical cigarette,” he said in an interview earlier this year.
For the newest vape shop owners, business has also been booming.
“Business has been good,” Phaphanthong said. “We promote a lot through social media and word of mouth, so most of our customers are repeat customers.”
Vaping is not just a hot trend. It actually has health benefits that actually work.
“One cigarette contains 4,000 carcinogens,” said Jeff Bolander, the co-owner of Patriot Vapes. “Vapes have four ingredients: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine and natural or artificial flavors. You’re getting a water vapor versus a cigarette, which contains smoke, tar and many other things.”
Vapings major advantage over cigarettes would have to be the control over the amount of nicotine. This becomes very important for people who are trying to quit smoking, Phaphanthong said.
“All of us here at Urban Vape are on zero percent nicotine,” Phaphanthong said. “We are the kind of people that promote going down on nicotine, and we try to help everyone be healthy and ultimately stop smoking.”
Bolander said he has been vaping for nine months and has already noticed its benefits, even though he admits that he was “discouraged at first” because he tried different types of alternatives and nothing worked.
“I tried the vapor, and the difference was like night and day,” Bolander said. “I can see a huge difference in my health. I use to go to the gym and within the first five minutes I would be drenched, but now I have to work to sweat.”
Vapes come in many different flavors, from Princess Peach sold at Patriot Vapes to Starfruit sold at Urban Vapes.
Phaphanthong and Bolander both said anyone who would like to know more about quitting smoking or switching to vaping is welcome to stop by their stores for more information.