Store owner Daron Diffey with Gator’s L.A. Vapor’s trademark gator. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Some of the e-cigarettes available at Gator’s L.A. Vapor. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Daron Diffey’s new business, Gator’s L.A. Vapor, is more than just a way to make a living, it’s a mission.
“It’s all about helping people quit smoking and live healthier lives,” Diffey said.
Diffey and his wife Shannon opened Gator’s L.A. Vapor May 24, bringing electric cigarettes to Los Alamos for the first time. Diffey left his job at Los Alamos County to promote and sell a product he believes in.
“You can have the feel of smoking without tar or smoke,” Diffey said.
Electric cigarettes deliver nicotine through a smoke-like vapor that can be inhaled and provides a vehicle for nicotine delivery into the bloodstream via the lungs. An electronic cigarette contains three essential components: a plastic cartridge that serves as a mouthpiece and a reservoir for liquid, an “atomizer” that vaporizes the liquid, and a battery.
Liquid for producing vapor in electronic cigarettes, known as e-juice or e-liquid, is a solution of propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG) and/or polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG400) mixed with concentrated flavors, and optionally, a variable percentage of a liquid nicotine concentrate.
Gator’s L.A. Vapor carries approximately 50 flavors of e-juice. It comes in 11, 16 and 24 milligrams of nicotine so smokers can reduce the amount of nicotine as they quit, Diffey said. The store carries starter kits and accessories.
“We carry reliable products that will last a long time,” Diffey said.
His e-cigarettes have a much longer battery life than some other brands, and will last a smoker about five hours for heavy smokers before a charge is needed. E-cigarettes come in a wide range of colors and designs. Kits start at $22. Diffey will help customers select a product that is right for them.
The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) supports electronic cigarettes sales to adults because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next 20 years.
In a trial of e-cigarettes among Italian smokers with no desire to quit using tobacco at the outset, up to 13 percent of participants were not smoking regular cigarettes at all a year later.
Though the study was not billed as a smoking-cessation test, more than half of participants cut down on tobacco soon after they started using the e-cigarettes. And the percentage who quit smoking entirely by the end of that period rivals results achieved with medications, the authors note in the journal PLOS ONE.
In addition to the health benefits, Diffey points to the savings involved in switching to e-cigarettes.
“You can get started for what you’d pay for a carton of cigarettes,” he said. “E-juice costs $6 and will last a pack-a-day smoker about six days. I know from personal experience that e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking. If you commit to it, it works.”
Gator’s L.A. Vapor is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The store is at 1907 Central Ave., upstairs from El Parasol and Aspen Copies. Access Gator’s L.A. Vapor through a stairway next to the right of Aspen Copies. The store accepts credit cards or cash.