I won’t be acquiring bitcoins any time soon, but I could be talked into trying an e-cig.
A visit on Saturday to the Vapor Spot in Sherman Oaks made the “vaping” process seem as pleasant as wine-tasting or savoring a good cup of tea.
I feel out of the cultural loop these days, as I try to follow the news. I can’t wrap my mind around bitcoins and I’m not sure what an e-cig is.
Pretend cigarettes? Virtual money? It’s all too tech-centric for me.
About a dozen people, most of them young, were seated in the airy lounge on couches and bar stools, sampling flavored liquids that create the vapors produced by e-cigs. The devices, in various finishes and styles, look more like fat cigars than cigarettes and range from $35 to more than $200. They have a wire coil that heats the liquid — which can be laced with nicotine — until it vaporizes. Users inhale then expel the vapor, like smoke from a cigarette.
Owner John Jenkins has three vapor bars in Los Angeles and is opening another this weekend in Sacramento.
“Our tens of thousands of clients include A-list celebrities, roving packs of grandmas from the senior center and an extremely normal cross-section of everyday L.A. people,” he said.
Vapor lounges seem to be popping up everywhere, like marijuana dispensaries — or like yogurt shops and nail salons, depending on whether you consider e-cigarettes a dangerous drug-delivery tool or a harmless lifestyle choice.
The “vape community” thinks that’s unfair; that the ban will make it hard for cigarette smokers to manage their cravings and wean themselves from tobacco.
But the limitations seem right to me. If you’re a smoker, you’ve already adjusted to restrictions on lighting up. And if you’ve already managed to kick the habit, the last thing you need is some guy on the barstool next to you blowing vapor rings.
The City Council came down on the drug-delivery side last week, voting to ban use of the devices in Los Angeles parks, restaurant, bars, offices and other public spots, and banishing “vapers” to the sidewalk alongside cigarette smokers.