Hoping to change the way consumers smoke, Newberg Vapors sells a form of electronic cigarettes
When Ed and Laura Wiggins heard about a storefront opening on First Street, they seized the opportunity. Now, six months after entertaining the idea of opening a shop, they opened Newberg Vapors Jan. 11.
Were smokers. I was a smoker until about seven years ago when I got a case of bronchial pneumonia, Ed Wiggins said. So he quit, but started missing cigarettes.
So I picked up cigars and was eventually smoking a cigar a day, he said. But then I came across this product. I started using it and I thought, Wow, Ive got to do this. Ive got to help other people to get off the traditional cigarette.
Wiggins and his wife sell vaporizers. They look like colorful, long pipes. Battery operated, the vapes burn an oil-based liquid called juice that contains nicotine. Essentially, they are electronic cigarettes.
It cant be classified as a safer alternative, but it is cleaner, he said, cleaner than traditional cigarettes that is. It makes life feel a little better. Kids dont have to go to school smelling like an old ashtray, thats how we got here.
The juice comes in a variety of flavors Newberg Vapors has 25 so far ranging from chocolate-banana, apple, triple menthol and watermelon and emits minimal aroma.
I dont smell like cigarettes, Ed Wiggins said. They arent entirely scent free, the worst is probably tobacco flavored.
The juices also range in nicotine content. He said they have flavors that contain no nicotine, and the concentration ranges up to 24 milligrams the equivalent of nicotine ingested by a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker.
Its not a quit-smoking device, but it has helped a lot of people to quit smokes, he said. The nicotine can taper down to zero and then you can toss the device.
But despite some of the juices containing no nicotine, he said he tries to deter non-smokers from using vapes.
If they just want flavor because of the e-hookah craze, I will sell to them but Ill tell them its not as good for you as not doing anything, Ed Wiggins said.
He said he wants to operate the shop with his conscience clear, which includes not selling to minors.
Its not illegal in the state of Oregon or city of Newberg to sell these to minors, but I card anyone that looks under 18 and I wont sell to them, he said. If theyre with someone whos 18 and theyre buying two devices I wont sell to them either. This product is going to get in the hands of teenagers one way or another, but I dont want it to be on my conscience. Its more a sense of whats moral and whats right.
He said there are some shops, including one in Tigard, that do sell to teenagers less than 18, because nicotine isnt federally regulated, not yet anyway.
I feel to make our buck I want to do it the right way and honestly, he said.
Currently, Ed Wiggins said there isnt a huge market in Newberg for the relatively new product, but he thinks it will grow pretty quickly.
There are people ages 18 to 70 doing this. A lot of your older people are less apt to want to switch over, but the ones who give it a try are surprised, he said. I was talking to this lady whos smoked for 50 years who hasnt had a cigarette in over a month (after trying a vaporizer). Thats saying a lot for a product the government doesnt approve of.
He said he hopes to continuously expand.
When were done, there will be 200 flavors, he said. And we will be setting up a lounge at some point.
The shop is located at 809 E. First St. and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.newbergvapors.com.