With the ever-increasing bans on electronic cigarettes in public spaces, Vaping Lounges have become very popular in the last few months and their number is growing rapidly. A vaping lounge is essentially a place where popular drinks are served and people can relax and enjoy the experience of vaping from their favorite e-liquid flavor. E-cigarette sales grew from an estimated $500 million in 2012 to $1.5 billion in 2013, according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, a nonprofit organization that operates in the U.S. and overseas, therefore it’s no surprise that more and more players are joining the business.
Kansas represents the core of the vaping revolution and there are a lot of lounges across the state. One of the most popular is ‘Lucky’, which is located at 575 W Douglas. Bust instead of tobacco smoke this place smells a lot like candy and fruits and there’s a delicious mist surrounding its customers. This is because instead of analog cigarettes, the users are vaping from their devices e-liquids with hints of cinnamon, vanilla or apple.
Former smoker Kevin Nguyen, co-owner of Lucky’s tried a lot of methods in his fight with tobacco but eventually electronic cigarettes represented the true alternative for him. Having witnessed the death of a relative that had been smoking for over 30 years and finally gave up to lung cancer, he decided it’s time for a healthier lifestyle and was introduced to vaping after visiting his family in Los Angeles. He speaks about the vaping lounge and says that, “It’s a pretty laid back, chill area. We felt like it would just be a cool spot to have a place down here and bring this place back to life.” He is also very passionate of collecting different types of ecigs and mods “A lot are limited production or from foreign countries, so it’s a hobby to try to collect them,” said Nguyen.
Lucky is the place where the town’s vaping community meets and has the best time ever. On every two Saturdays there is a different theme like ‘the most hellacious cloud’ which attracts a lot of vaping enthusiasts and also many new customers. For many people, the place is as much about the social culture as it is about substituting ecigs for tobacco. “I got into it because I find it very intriguing,” said Tony Truong, an ex-hookah smoker who works at Lucky’s. “But I never use nicotine. I just do it for flavor.”
In October of 2013 Jeremy Weber, who was a two-pack-a-day smoker and his family opened Vapor E-Cigarette, located at 3137 W. Maple. “I decided this is real and not a gimmick and wanted to help people,” Weber declared. “The word is definitely out about it in Wichita now. The market is there. The demand is growing. … I was skeptical because I tried everything – the patches, gum and inhalers. I even tried hypnosis. I tried everything I wanted to quit smoking so bad.”
A recent study about Kansas reported that at least 10% of the state’s residents have tried e-cigarettes at least once. Therefore it is no wonder that their popularity is growing exponentially.