With more studies showing the damages of cigarettes to your body, people have turned from smoking cigarettes to vaping. According to The Oxford Dictionary, to vape means to “inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.”
Today though, when people think of vaping they think of the obnoxious people who blow thick clouds of smoke wherever they are. Vape culture is a thing and those who vape for the healthier benefits are trying to grow away from the bad reputation and show the world that it’s not just douchebags who vape.
Aamir Bhayani was hospitalized with pneumonia for nine days due to cigarettes. When he was released from the hospital, he decided to light one up, the very thing that put him in the hospital in the first place. When he realized, it wasn’t the same anymore, he decided to search for a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and he found the art of vaping.
“I started vaping and it helped more than I thought,” Bhayani said. “I didn’t think I could quit smoking, but I did and it ended up saving my life. I got out lucky.”
Vaping is no cheaper than smoking, and sometimes can be even pricier depending on what device your using. Not wanting to pay retail price for pieces and juice, Bhayani decided to open his own store.
“I want to vape, but I didn’t want to pay those prices or have to drive to a different town, so I decided to consider opening my own shop,” he said. “After I did my research, I opened up my first shop in Farmerville and followed with the Ruston shop a few years later.”
The Vape Escape has a very relaxed atmosphere from the moment you pull up. Walk in on any given day, and you will be greeted by a smiling Aamir who likely has a vape in hand, or nearby. The Vape Escape offers a wide selection of inventory to choose from, but the main selling point is the vapes. In addition to owning two shops, Bhayani also produces his own line of vape juices called “The Vape Escape,” just like his shop.
“I have a company that makes and bottles the juices for me so they’re inexpensive,” he says. “I get them cheap, so I sell them cheap.” While Bhayani has lots of different juices to choose from, he said his go to flavor is Wolf Mother, from his personal label.
For Aamir, owning a shop isn’t just a way for him to vape for a lower price, it’s also a way to help pay off student loans. “I graduated from Louisiana Tech with a degree in biology,” he said. “I had to find a way to pay for my school and an unpaid internship wasn’t going to help.”
Paying off student loans is just one benefit of owning two vape shops. Owning The Vape Escape is also a way for Aamir to help people live a healthier lifestyle. “For me vaping is a healthier alternative to something that can kill you, and it is the same for many people,” he said. “Opening up this shop has allowed me to help a lot of people quit smoking.”
One of the people influenced by Aamir’s vaping was his dad. “My dad used to smoke multiple packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “He smoked for 40 years and he hasn’t had a cigarette in four months now. I have had people who have come in the day they leave the hospital from bronchitis or other illnesses associated with smoking cigarettes and they come to me for help.”
Bhayani says his goal for the shop is to continue to help people quit smoking. “You’re on your way out (of smoking) and it’s hard,” he said. “It’s not pleasant and you want to do anything to fix that, and vaping is the best alternative. It’s hard to quit smoking, but it’s helped a lot of people.”
Vaping may not be for everyone, but it is a healthier alternative to smoking. It is becoming more and more popular among people of all ages. If you are in the Ruston or Farmerville area, head over to The Vape Escape and chat with Aamir. I promise, you will not be disappointed.