Lynn Smith, owner of the new Vapor Lounge in the Fairmount Avenue plaza across from Sam's Club, has been nicotine-free for 12 years. Quitting cold turkey after smoking most of her life, Smith wanted to help other smokers quit and live a healthier lifestyle.
The Vapor Lounge goes beyond offering a healthier lifestyle by giving patrons a sense of community. The lounge has a comfortable atmosphere and a place for customers to hang out with TVs and free Wi-Fi.
Smith's vaping experience started when a couple of her friends introduced her to it. She immediately fell in love.
Autumn Swanson, Jackie Moore and Stephanie Smith sit at the counter vaping as Nate Stancombe, Vapor Lounge manager, fiddles with an e-cigarette.
P-J photo by Mallory Diefenbach
"The flavors were so intense," she said. "You never really lose that hand-to-mouth motion."
Smith knew firsthand how hard quitting cold turkey is. With e-cigarettes, however, smokers can be weaned off of the nicotine. The electronic alternative is thought to be healthier than cigarettes in general.
"With all of (Nate Stancombe's) knowledge, people can come in here and learn all about vaping," she said.
Stancombe, Vapor Lounge manager said there is a lot of information out on the market regarding e-cigarettes, and studies have shown that overall vaping is a more positive experience.
"A lot of ex-smokers I've noticed have difficulty switching over necessarily from the blue cigarettes that you can buy in a gas station to quitting smoking all together," Stancombe said. "But with electronic cigarettes, with the mods and things like that, it allows that more dense vapor that more people are looking for."
It is a rapidly growing industry, and to keep up means to keep informed with the technology and regulations by the Food and Drug Administration. New regulations by the FDA will require businesses like the Vapor Lounge to register its products with the FDA. According to Stancombe, this isn't necessary due to the fact the vaping community has done an excellent job at policing itself and keeping dangerous chemicals out of its products. It will also stunt innovation, according to Stancombe. He made a note, however, that it isn't all bad due to this will make sure the e-juice is safe.
The Vapor Lounge currently has 75 flavors at the shop with new ones being added every week.
For more information about the Vapor Lounge or e-cigarettes in general, call 664-6945 or visit thevaporloungejamestownny.com. The store is located at 707 Fairmount Ave. and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.