WYOMING — Vape Dragons isn’t full of smoke and mirrors — its owners take customer education very seriously.
The business on 235 E. 8th St. opened in January and is owned by brothers Chick and Jeff McAvoy, originally from Dallas. It’s their focus on customer service that spurred the opening of the shop.
Jeff said their business is based on three points: “to create a polite atmosphere, great customer service, and knowledge,” he said. “And business is going good.”
According to a report by the nonprofit Society of Science and the Public, electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes or vapes, are battery-powered electronic devices. When a person puffs on a vape, the device heats a liquid inside, which produces an aerosol, or vapor, mist.
The devices were developed as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. The liquid inside the devices can contain nicotine in various amounts and also can be flavored or unflavored.
Vapes have been on the market for less than a decade, according to Chick. Because the industry is so new, there are conflicting studies available about the health risks of vaping. The long-term effects are unknown.
The brothers have been in the retail business for roughly 10 years but now deal exclusively with vapes and will open another store in Dickson City at the end of the month.
This fresh fad provokes various questions and Vape Dragons strives to provide answers for interested participants, according to Jeff.
“We are more or less open for anyone to come in here,” he said.
One question is whether vaping will help customers stop smoking cigarettes, Chick said. “This is definitely, in my opinion, the most effective (way to quit smoking cigarettes),” he said. “It’s a good alternative.”
Vape Dragons sells a variety of vaping units, batteries, coils, and many flavors of juice, with or without nicotine.
With over 140 different flavors, Vape Dragons allows customers to sample the juice.
“We have a tester available for you,” Chick said. “So you can try it before you buy it.”
The amount of nicotine in the juices varies from 0 to 18 ml, Chick said. “When you get down to zero nicotine level in the e-juice all you’re getting is the flavor and you’re not getting the addictive part of it,” he said. “But they still get to get that smoking sensation that they like with a cigarette.”
The social aspect of smoking was a tough thing to get used to when quitting smoking, Chick said. “That was part of the culture of it that I missed,” he said. “With vaping it kind of allows you to do that without having to have your clothes smell like an ashtray or your teeth turning yellow.”
Vape Dragons’ focus on customer satisfaction and courtesy is what they count on to bring in new patrons and repeat customers, according to Jeff. “Everything here that we have it’s just what are customer base asks for,” he said. “Over the years of us doing this we found different types of flavor palettes that people really enjoy.”
“It’s kind of like the wine industry as a whole,” Jeff said. “It’s like a connoisseur type of thing.”
Vape Dragons believes in a more homegrown style of marketing to spread the word about their shop. “It’s friend to friend,” Jeff said. “One guy comes in and he swears upon it because he quit smoking and he tells all his friends.”
Nathan L. Boyer is an intern for the Sunday Dispatch. Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.