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E-cigarette store opens for business in Winder

POSTED: July 4, 2014 10:00 a.m.
Bonny Harper/Barrow County News

EPIC VAPES store owner Stewart Pickering recently opened up the county's first shop that exclusively sells e-cigarettes.

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EPIC VAPES, a business which exclusively sells electronic cigarette hardware and juices, opened its doors to customers on Friday.

Located at 64 E May St., EPIC VAPES is the first store of its kind in Winder, offering products for all levels of e-cig smokers from beginners to advanced, said storeowner Stewart Pickering.

Electronic cigarettes are smoked by means of a battery-powered vaporizer. The e-liquids, or "juices," can contain differing levels of nicotine for purposes of weaning someone off traditional cigarettes, Pickering said.

Eventually, Pickering said, many smokers can wean themselves down to the zero-nicotine vapors, which they would smoke then just for the flavor and the habit.

"Regular cigarettes have thousands of chemicals," Pickering said. "E-juice has three ingredients, and each of the ingredients are individually FDA approved for everyday use. There’s no tobacco, no smoke, no ashes. They are definitely a safer alternative to cigarettes."

Pickering, whose wife and cousin helped him prepare everything for his new business, said he smoked a pack of traditional cigarettes every day for 17 years and tried all the usual methods of quitting, including cutting back and going "cold turkey," but nothing worked.

Then, eight months ago, Pickering tried e-cigs, and after a transition period of about three weeks where he was smoking both e-cigs and traditional cigarettes, Pickering said he "never looked back" to cigarettes.

"I can breathe better, I can run around with my kids, I feel better—I definitely smell better," Pickering said. "Even my senses of smell and taste are heightened."

Additionally, Pickering said e-cigs are a much cheaper habit to maintain than cigarettes. For Pickering, the cost was cut "at least in half, or better."

Pickering said it was these positive effects of "vaping" which helped in his decision to open EPIC VAPES. He wanted to "give back" and help others after seeing how easy it was for him to quit traditional cigarettes.

EPIC VAPES currently offers 29 different flavors of e-juice, and Pickering—whose favorite flavor is "Epic Swirl," which is a vanilla and chocolate swirl—said they will be adding onto that as business progresses.

The business can be reached by phone at 470-429-3404 or on its Facebook page,



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