Tasty Vapes and Nevada Vapor Supply are two new Carson City outlets targeting electronic vapor consumers, also known as the e-cigarette crowd.
Tasty Vapes, at 101 Hot Springs Road in Suite 8H, opened late last year and kicked off this year with a solid month financially. Peter Owings, the owner-operator, said his small outlet grossed $9,800 in January and he is “paying the bills and then some.” He said his outlet near the C.A.L. Ranch store was the first shop of its kind in Carson City; Nevada Vapor Supply became the second Friday.
Formerly, the 2004 Carson High School graduate said, e-cigarette devices and related needs have been sold at smoke shops and liquor stores. But now, he said, his outlet and Nevada Vapor Supply at 206 N. Carson St. can offer understanding, experience and the items it takes to help people starting out or expanding use of the products.
“You need somebody to be knowledgeable about this stuff,” he said.
Owings, an Army veteran of seven years who served a year each in Iraq and Afghanistan before leaving the military, said he is a former smoker. The former staff sergeant said he learned about the e-cigarette alternative and helped others start similar outlets in Washington state while he was stationed at Fort Lewis there.
“We were all on the same mission: to get people off cigarettes,” he said.
He said he started smoking in his late teens and quit in 2010, just over three years ago, when he and his wife, Jennifer, had their daughter Kaitlin. He said e-cigarettes and the e-juice that goes into the devices can include or lack nicotine, but avoid the carcinogens, tars and other factors that endanger health. He said people convert not only from smoking, but from chewing tobacco.
E-cigarettes have grown quickly in popularity, and states including have responded by passing laws regulating their sale and use.
Tasty Vapes offers a variety of “e-juice” flavors with some of the most popular including watermelon, grape, blueberry/blackberry, tropical melon and banana/strawberry/blueberry. While being interviewed Monday, Owings puffed on one of his devices with lemon cream his flavor of choice.
Owings said he and the family that owns and operates Nevada Vapor Supply plan a Vape Meet at the Carson Nugget the night of March 1. It will go from 8 p.m. until midnight, he said, holding raffles and providing people giveaways along with the chance to “talk some vape.”
Dennis Lindsay at Nevada Vapor Supply said Monday that he and his wife, Marilee, opened that business Friday. Marilee’s son and their daughter-in-law, Chad and Nina McIntosh, after doing lengthy research.
“We decided to jump in with both feet,” said Lindsay, a real estate businessman and Air Force veteran from the 1970s.
As the younger couple took care of customers, Lindsay said the new business is an outgrowth of those younger partners trying and finally succeeding in efforts to quit smoking. He also said a new customer in his 90s, a confirmed cigar smoker, came in to try it and was glad because his card-playing group had objected to cigar smoke. Lindsay said the vapor alternative turned the trick for the customer and card-playing colleagues.
The Lindsays say Nevada Vapor Supply is in its “soft-opening” period and will take part in the March 1 Vape Meet at the Nugget Ballroom, then will hold a grand opening event in March.