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New store owner sees a future in electronic cigarettes

The way Russ Walker sees it, the day is coming when the government bans the internet sale of electronic cigarettes, just as the state has done with tobacco cigarettes.

When that happens, Walker said, storefront locations offering the modern alternative to tobacco-based products will be in a good position to grow.

A couple of weeks ago, Walker opened R.W. Vapors at 224 Ellicott St., Batavia.

E-cigs are cigarette-shaped devices that are designed to deliver the sense of smoking. They contain a liquid that is heated and vaporizes. The liquid can be flavored and may contain nicotine in varying amounts, from none to a heavier concentration, depending on the preference of the consumer.

"I can't make health claims about e-cigarettes," Walker said. "It is an alternative to tobacco. You're not getting all of the carcenogens. There's no combustion."

Typically, e-cig smokers are people who want to get away from smoking tobacco, or use the product as a bridge toward quitting cigarettes.

While Walker sells novelties as well in his store, he said he won't knowingly sell his product as a novelty to somebody just looking to experiment with e-cigs.

"This isn't for anybody who isn't already on some form of nicotine," Walker said. "I don't recommend starting a nicotine habit if you don't already have one."

Walker also won't sell to minors, even though a state law regulating the sales of e-cigs based on age won't go into effect until January.

As for the liquid, Walker said he mixes all of the liquid himself.

"It's not imported from China," he said. "It's all made locally."

Walker said he sells a variety of flavors and can make custom-order mixes.

As for the novelties -- what he carries in his shop are decidedly old-school pranks and jokes. He said he knew his shop would need to offer a variety of products besides e-cigs so he picked a product line he said he's always enjoyed.

The store also carries some jewelry -- charms and bracelets.

Brett Orr
Brett Orr's picture
Joined: May 6 2010

Awesome. I have been vaping for about a year. It is the only way i could quit smoking. So excited to have a local vendor.

Beth Kinsley
ekinsley's picture
Joined: Aug 22 2008

I know several people who have quit smoking using these. One had been smoking for close to 30 years.

sport's picture
Joined: Dec 31 2009

I hope this will help people quit smoking, i have see what smoking can do in my own family, and its not pretty watching your loved ones die from COPD. GOOD LUCK ROSS.

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