Article posted from: Steve Milne of Capital Public Radio READ FULL ARTICLE
The electronic-cigarette industry is heating up. Bars and shops are opening in the Sacramento area catering to people who “vape.” That’s the term used for inhaling water vapor through an e-cigarette or other personal vaporizer.
But amidst the vaping boom, regulations loom. Friday is the deadline for people to comment on a federal proposal to regulate e-cigarettes.
One of Midtown Sacramento’s most popular vape bars is located in the backroom of a restaurant. You walk past black curtains to enter.
“I’m Sam Chao. I’m one of the co-owners of VaPour House. This is a speakeasy bar – a 1920’s theme,” says Chao. “We want to bring smoking back indoors, but this is not smoking this is vaping.”
It looks like a regular bar here. But instead of alcohol, customers choose from an array of flavored liquids.
“You pour the e-liquid into a tank,” explains Chao. “In the tank there’s a heating element that heats up the e-liquid and produces vapor and that’s what you’re inhaling is vapor.”
Serving the e-liquid in this saloon is, not a bartender, a “vape-tender.”
“We have a flavor that is dragon fruit/strawberries and cream,” says Chao. “You might like that one. It kind of reminds me of a strawberry Starburst.”
Jeff Eggink used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every two-days but switched to vaping about a year ago.
“It’s so much better; the flavor, the smell,” says Eggink. “I can hang out with a pretty girl and not have to worry about ‘you smell like cigarettes.’ That’s probably the worst thing about cigarettes is the smell.”
And Eggink, who’s in his 20s, says there were physical changes for him.
“I noticed that after about a week of vaping where I could wake up in the morning, I didn’t have that little wheeze and I could actually skateboard all day long and not have to stress about smoking,” says Eggink.
Chao opened this vape bar about eight months ago.
“We have seen growth with our business,” says Chao. “At first I was thinking maybe it’s going to be 21 and over. But the age group is anywhere from 18 all the way to 50.”