Construction on Vapor Planet is ongoing at the former Shell gasoline station on South Ferdon Boulevard, near the Interstate 10 overpass, in Crestview.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to get a handle on new smoking products, including electronic cigarettes, with new proposals that include banning sales to minors and requiring manufacturers to register all their products and ingredients with the FDA.
“I like these proposals; the public needs clarity on smoking alternatives because we have 42.1 million adult tobacco smokers [Centers for Disease Control, 2012] who may be able to benefit from them,” says Anthony Sarvucci, CEO of American Heritage International, a company that develops e-cigarettes for adult tobacco smokers who want to quit.
“The bottom line is that we know how terrible traditional cigarettes are for people, but there has been a vacuum of information about e-cigs, which leads to a great deal of misinformation, some fear-mongering, and even simply making stuff up.”
Construction on Vapor Planet is ongoing at the former Shell gasoline station on South Ferdon Boulevard, near the Interstate 10 overpass, in Crestview. The gas pumps and canopy have been removed, and the retail lot will soon have a new parking lot and renovated building.
Owner Shannon Ikner — who, along with his wife, Shelia, is an active electronic cigarette user — said there are numerous benefits to using battery-powered cigarettes instead of regular tobacco.
“We have had hundreds of people quit smoking tobacco (cigarettes),” he said. “You don’t have the second-hand smoke or that nasty smell.”
Sarvucci gives four reasons why some e-cigarettes are easily a better alternative.
•According to the American Lung Association, the average cigarette contains acetone, found in nail polish remover; acetic acid, an ingredient in hair dye; ammonia, a common household cleaner; arsenic, used in rat poison; benzene, found in rubber cement; butane, used in lighter fluid; cadmium, an active component in battery acid; carbon monoxide, released in car exhaust fumes; formaldehyde, embalming fluid; hexamine, found in barbecue lighter fluid; lead, used in batteries; naphthalene, an ingredient in moth balls; methanol, a main component in rocket fuel; nicotine, used as insecticide; tar, material for paving roads; and toluene, used to manufacture paint.
•“Adult consumers of e-cigarettes deserve to know what they’re smoking,” says Sarvucci, who adds that minors “absolutely should not be smoking or vaping, period.” American Heritage’s vapor fluid contains water and three food-grade quality ingredients – kosher vegetable glycerin and vegetable propylene and natural flavoring, and the nicotine is derived naturally. “We’re the only e-cigarette company for which all of the e-juice ingredients are sourced and mixed in the United States,” he says. “Fluid for most other e-cigarettes is sourced and mixed in China and it often contains dozens of ingredients.”
•According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarettes harm nearly every organ in your body and cause dozens of diseases. Cigarette smoke causes more deaths – combined – than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol consumption, motor vehicle injuries and gun incidents. “We’ve made significant progress against cigarette smoke in recent decades, but it’s not only a problem of the past,” he says. Almost a half-million Americans will continue to die each year, even though they know the statistics as well as anyone, because they are severely addicted. “Mimicking an authentic smoking experience, like my company tries to do, at least gives these people a better option that’s also healthier for the people around them,” Sarvucci says.
• Smokers deserve hope. In American culture, we have a can-do attitude that is unique to the world, which largely accounts for our influence. We often have a tough time, however, admitting that an individual has a problem beyond his or her control. Smoking cigarettes is that problem for more than 40 million of our friends, family and neighbors.
“Look — I wouldn’t have gotten into this business if it were to create new smokers,” Sarvucci says. “I went this route because, yes, it’s a highly profitable space, but it’s also an extremely helpful alternative for traditional smokers. If you’re a nonsmoker, ask yourself: What would you rather have in your body, a few edible compounds, water and naturally sourced nicotine, or nicotine accompanied by the chemical used to exterminate rats?”