There’s a new high voltage store in the former Kenai Electric location in Kenai. It’s called High Voltage Vapes. Vaping has become a popular way to kick tobacco use addiction according to owners Jamie and Stephanie Chilton, “Vaping is a safer alternative to traditional cigarette smoking, chew or other use of tobacco products. An atomizer heats the liquid, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled, simulating a cigarette and creating a vapor cloud that resembles cigarette smoke, but there is no tar or smoke,” explained Jamie. Four years ago, vape shops, a place that sells electronic cigarettes, were virtually unheard of in Alaska. Today there are vape shops from Kenai to Ketchikan and most places in-between. And if the national trend is any indication, chances are more stores are to come. Sales of e-cigarettes in the United States are predicted to grow 25 percent each year through 2018, according to Research and Markets, a company that prepares market research worldwide.
“Using nicotine in a vape is replacing the 3,600 chemicals that are in a tobacco cigarette and allows the smoker to step down the level of nicotine ultimately to zero where you quit completely,” said Chilton. A customer can inhale something that tastes like a real cigarette, or a cinnamon roll, funnel cake, Mountain Dew, chocolate-mint candy and more says Chilton. “I was a pack a day smoker for 12 years and have been vaping for a little over 7 months and have not had a cigarette since. It is a replacement for a cigarette and I have had no craving for a cigarette. I can sit in a room with people smoking and as long as I have my vape there is no desire for tobacco,” said Jamie. His wife Stephanie was a pack and a half a day smoker and she just quit 3 weeks ago, “The craving is gone, I didn’t get serious until we got into the business. I use to buy a carton of cigarettes every two weeks or about 60 to 70 dollars per carton whereas the e-juice equivalent is less than a third of that cost,” said Stephanie. There are also a lot of different flavor options with the e-juice, “We have weekly juice sales as well which can save customers money by watching our Facebook page. And a variety of atomizers in various price ranges and new things coming in all the time, so we can make help smokers make vaping an affordable alternative. We have about 200 different flavors and variations of juice in stock, so depending on the individuals taste we have everything from a red leaf Marlboro like flavor to menthol to cheesecake or chocolates and every flavor you may like or imagine,” added Chilton.
For more information visit the High Voltage Vapes store in Kenai across from the Salvation Army store on the Spur Hwy, or call 283-3244. Or check out the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Assoc. at CASAA.org.