Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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December 22, 2013

Getting vaporized

Jacksonville's new electronic cigarette store caters to those trying to leave tobacco behind

JACKSONVILLE — Voltage Vapor Shop, one of Jacksonville's newest stores, sells electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes. Vaporizing devices. Electronic nicotine delivery systems. They all pretty much describe the same basic thing — the battery-powered device that allows someone to simulate smoking a cigarette.

Owner Chase Calloway, who owns a companion shop in Palestine, believed enough in the new-age product to open a second store in Jacksonville.

Using some form of heat, e-cigarettes vaporize a liquid inside "a delivery system" that can contain nicotine with flavors — or perhaps even no nicotine.

Voltage Vapor Shop opened Dec. 16 at 910 S. Jackson Street in Jacksonville. This store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Such devices generally retail for about $100 or more. Refill cartridge packets have different prices, according to the level of nicotine involved. Additionally, there are liquid refills dispersed on a do-it-yourself basis.

Calloway said he was inspired to open a store in Jacksonville because of his huge customer base at the Palestine store, which advertises e-cigarettes, vaping devices, as “100 percent safe.”

But truth be told, the jury is still out on if e-cigarettes are 100 percent safe to use. Several regulatory agencies are doubtful.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, are concerned the side effects of inhaling pure nicotine have yet to be adequately studied. They fear some manufacturers aren't adequately disclosing all the chemical ingredients in their e-cigarettes, according to the Discovery, Fit and Health website, http://health.discovery.com.

However, Calloway stands by his product.

"My brother-in-law, manager of the Palestine store, is now over one-year tobacco free using the product we carry," he said. "You're not getting all the carcinogens, tar and chemicals like you do from regular tobacco cigarettes. I also have doctors in Palestine sending customers to the store."

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