I’m a supporter of local, small business in many facets. I frequent farmers markets, and research nearby shops of products I often could easily order with my Amazon Prime account. Of particular note, I prefer to buy my vape mods, accessories, and juice nearby to me. I may buy the occasional online product, like a particular juice I’d like to try that I can’t track down at an in-town shop, or a bulk pack of coils for the right price when I’m a little light in the wallet. But, overall, if given the choice, I’d rather drive a few miles down the road to one of my local vape shops to support their efforts at offering reasonably-priced mods, liquids, and other vape accessories. Every experience I’ve had at the local vendors has netted me some investment in a new product.
It’s not the standard shopping experience that keep me going back to my area shops, though. Sometimes, it’s so I can try a unique juice flavor a shop has picked up from one of their suppliers. Other times, it’s to learn what the staff thinks of products I have heard are coming out in the near future, and whether said shop will carry them. Whatever the case, my positive experiences are often due to an informed, charming employee behind the counter. But their skilled knowledge and charming nature often only initiate my interest in supporting the shop.
Vape shop employees, in my experience, have been some of the kindest, most understanding folk I’ve met in regards to the difficulties and tribulations of a once-heavy smoker who’s looking to make substantive change. I’ve had a number of experiences that started as simple shopping trips to pick up new coils or restock my juice, but have then turned into full-blown hour conversations about how much better each of us feels having quit smoking combustible, tobacco cigarettes. The difference, we each attest, is actually palpable. We share testimonials, anecdotes, and encouragement with each other. We swap stories and enthusiastic claims of our progress on the road to quitting cigarettes, and how much we appreciate what nicotine vaping has done for our cessation progress, and even for our overall sense of health and mindfulness.
“I’m able to walk and run without losing breath again, and I enjoy exercise more” I state excitedly.
“My wife isn’t nagging me about how my breath smells, my mouth feels cleaner, and the whiteness is returning to my teeth” the employee boasts.
One of my nearby shops has a display case of last packs of cigarettes from customers, who willingly handed them over during their first vape purchase at his establishment. The monument, the symbol, the sheer display of will keeps me coming back and puts a wide smile on my face every time I see it. These are the kinds of reminders that I need. Community is a great and powerful tool, and while I’m not one to sit and test various flavors on the bar stools and chat with other patrons (it’s just not my thing), I do appreciate that whenever I go into my local shops, I know I’m supporting more than just my own smoking cessation: I’m supporting a cause.