Electronic Cigarettes Boom in the Lone Star State
Electronic cigarettes are attracting loyal customers all over the world, but most recently the e-cig craze hit Texas, the “Lone Star State”. With vape shops popping up all over eastern Texas, KLTV News offered a closer look at the booming e-cig market in a new report last week.
According to KLTV, vape shops are becoming increasingly common in Texas. Local resident Jeremy Williams is one of many loyal vapers that claim e-cigs have made a huge impact on their lifestyle. Williams told reporters that he stopped smoking on October 20, 2013. The date is still clear in his mind. That is the day when he started vaping and he hasn’t had a single cigarette since then. In just 100 days, Williams said he has saved more than $150 by vaping and he is also feeling the changes in his health. “I do sleep a lot better. I obviously don’t have the smell of smoke. I breathe a lot easier and I don’t have the cough in the morning,” he said. Since Williams started vaping, he believes he has avoided over 1,100 cigarettes.
KLTV also spoke with Roy Hufstetler, the owner of popular Toot Juice Vapor Shop. Hufstetler explained how the e-cig worked and told reporters that his shop makes their own e-liquids on the premises. “Our liquid consists of four things – propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and the flavoring.” While there has been some controversy about propylene glycol being potentially dangerous, another local vape shop owner argues that it is not harmful.
J.J. Hubbard, owner of the Times Square Vapor Lounge insisted that propylene glycol is found in all sorts of products including toothpaste, cosmetics, medications, and foods. “Products for your skin… it’s used in injectable forms… it’s used in inhalers… used in a lot of stuff that we use everyday,” he said.
For Hufstetler, e-cigarettes meant ending a long term addiction to tobacco. He had been smoking three packs a days for years and he told KLTV that he first began smoking at twelve years old. He sees e-cigarettes as a solution for smokers that want to quit. However, he doesn’t want to sell the products to non-smokers or children. “We definitely would never encourage anyone to start whether you’re a child or an adult. Our view on this is to help people stop smoking,” he said.
The vaping craze in Texas has met some opposition, just like the rest of the country. Local parent of three, Michelle Setzer, told reporters that she worries that the flavored liquids are made to appeal to children rather than adults. “I think that should be addressed. I don’t think a 21-year-old or a 33-year-old adult wants a bubble gum cigarette. That’s not the market they’re targeting,” she said. Hubbard disagrees, claiming that they never let anyone enter the store without a valid ID proving they are at least 18 years old.
No matter which side of the argument you believe, there is no denying that vaping is a growing craze in East Texas. For now, adults are free to legally buy any e-liquid flavoring they like, including options like Bubble Gum and Hawaiian Punch.
Do you think these flavors are made to appeal to children or do adult vapers really love these unique flavor options?