PORTLAND TRIBUNE) -- There’s something in the air at Escape Vapor Lounge and it’s not cigarette smoke.
Clouds of fruity vapors fill the room, from customers puffing on electronic cigarettes that deliver mists of nicotine-laced liquid into their lungs. Some customers hover near a display case to check out the latest electronic cigarette models — essentially battery-operated nicotine delivery devices — while others sample liquid “juices” used to add nicotine and flavor.
Escape Vapor Lounge, on Northeast 82nd Avenue near Madison High School, could be the first of many “vaping parlors” in Portland. Use of electronic cigarettes or “e-cigs” is growing swiftly here and around the world, and many predict they’ll eventually surpass regular cigarettes in popularity.
E-cigs can be cheaper and come in alluring flavors like hazelnut, mango, peanut butter, strawberry, coffee and chocolate. Perhaps more importantly, some of the “vapers” at Escape Vapor Lounge say e-cigs helped them quit smoking cigarettes.
Matt Freeman, a 38-year-old from Portland, says he started smoking at age 15 and had been trying to quit for 10 years. After a month of vaping, Freeman says he lost the desire to smoke, and now finds the smell of cigarettes repulsive.