A Minnesota electronic cigarettes company opened its first California store in Folsom on Saturday.
“Smokeless Smoking” on Bidwell Street, includes a bar, vapor lounge, and merchandise counter.
“When you only have nicotine, and you are missing roughly 4000 chemical compounds that are in cigarette smoke,” says Jesse Griffith, the co-owner Smokeless Smoking, “It’s pretty obvious that you’re going to have harm reduction there.”
Griffith says he was a 12-year smoker who just couldn’t quit until he tried E-Cigs. “If this worked for me, maybe it can work for other people, too.”
The new Folsom branch of Smokeless Smoking sells starter kits to anyone over the age of 18. The kits cost anywhere from 30 to 300 dollars. A small vile of their product is $12.50, and the shop owners say it lasts about as long as 10 to 15 packs of traditional cigarettes. Many people make the switch to e-cigs simply because of the cost difference.
But Christopher Kimble, 24, had a different reason to quit; he quit for his kids. “I was picking my kids up, and smelling cigarette smoke on them. That made me want to quit,” said the former cigarette smoker.
As of 5 weeks ago, Kimble smoked 2 packs a day.
“We like to be in the business of switching people who smoke cigarettes to our types of products. We don’t want to be in the business of creating a new class of users,” said Griffith.
Oddly enough, the store is in partnership with The Nutrition Zone next door.
If a customer wants help with their road to quit, they can take a flyer, walk next door, and get a discount on body cleansing supplements.
“We help you cleanse out your system. Everything from your lung tissue, things that are good for your heart, cleanse out your entire GI track,” said Vincent Romero, owner of Nutrition Zone in Folsom, “So as you are getting off your cigarettes, it becomes easier, you don’t get as many cravings, and it is healthier as well.”
But The American Heart Association Describes Nicotine as “highly addictive” and unlike the nicotine gum or patches, e-cigs are not approved by the FDA. Their study showed even non-nicotine varieties contained trace amounts.
But Griffith says there is no harm in second hand vapor, making it okay even around Children.
“Every study that has been conducted on that would show that there is not any meaningful level of harm to bystanders as far as second hand vapor is concerned. We would say the science is overwhelmingly on our side.
As for Kimble, e-cigs have allowed him to adjust his nicotine intake and make a permanent change to his life.
“I’ve slowly started weaning myself off. I went from a really high milligram to almost nothing by now. Now, I don’t even want cigarettes. I don’t even crave it. I can’t even stand being around them anymore.”