It’s now illegal to vape, or smoke an electronic cigarette – in most public places in Lafayette. One local vaping shop believes smoking traditional cigarettes and vaping shouldn’t be conflated.
Vaping devices heat “e-liquids” containing nicotine—the amount of which can be customized—and flavors, like cinnamon or berry. Users produce large billows of vapor when exhaling. Zachary Gracer works at West Lafayette’s 7 Sins Vape shop, and says his customers are respectful.
“There's an etiquette to vaping, which we like to abide by, just because we want to hold ourselves a certain way in public,” says Gracer. “Certain people don't do it, but we just say if you can't smoke there, don't vape there.”
He says while they don’t market vaping as a smoking cessation product, the majority of their customers start vaping because they want to transition away from traditional cigarettes.
“The language being inserted into a city ordinance puts us in the same category as smokers,” says Gracer. "A lot of us are ex-smokers. But we don't consider ourselves smokers today. This is a very different experience.”
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a 600-page study on the use of e-cigarettes in January. The report finds that while it’s too soon to tell if switching to e-cigarettes is an effective method of smoking cessation, they appear to be less harmful than regular cigarettes.