New business offers smoking alternative
by RACHEL DAVIS
Sep 05, 2012 | 3513 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
All Smoke Free opened this week inside Dora’s Piggly Wiggly. Members of the East Walker Chamber of Commerce, Dora’s mayor and other members of the community were on hand for a ribbon cutting Tuesday. - Photo by: Rachel Davis.
All Smoke Free opened this week inside Dora’s Piggly Wiggly. Members of the East Walker Chamber of Commerce, Dora’s mayor and other members of the community were on hand for a ribbon cutting Tuesday. - Photo by: Rachel Davis.
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DORA — Feel free to smoke in the grocery store, at school events or even in the doctor’s office. That seems like an odd message for the 21st century, but for the owners of All Smoke Free in Dora, that’s a big selling point for their products. The counter, located inside the Piggly Wiggly, sells a new technology called electronic cigarettes, that takes the place of traditional cigarettes and can be used to help smokers quit. The e-cigarettes emit a water vapor that the manufacturers claim is much safer for smokers and nonsmokers alike.

There are two basic types of electronic cigarettes, a refillable model that allows users to select one of five tobacco levels and a flavor, if desired. There is also a disposable model, that lasts a few days and equals approximately two packs of traditional cigarettes. The electronic cigarettes do produce a water vapor, but contain no smoke, no tar, no chemicals and no ashes. Promoters of the technology say the lack of chemicals and tar make the e-cigarettes safer for the smoker, as well as nonsmokers who come in contact with it.

Co-owners Scott Lovelady and Bridget Moore both have the refillable model that allows them to add flavoring and whatever nicotine level they prefer. Moore says she never smoked, but enjoys the flavors and the steam so she uses the 0 percent nicotine that is essentially flavored vapor.

Lovelady, who is a smoker, said he had tried other electronic cigarettes, but believed this one was so superior that he wanted to bring it to the attention of others in the community. He also said the high occurrence of lung cancer and other issues in the area made it even more important to bring these types of products to the public’s attention.

“It helped me so much personally that I wanted other people to benefit from it,” Lovelady said. “We see it as a mission to help people.”

Lovelady says that for a pack-and-a-half a day or more smoker, the electronic cigarettes can mark up to a 50-percent savings off the cost of traditional cigarettes.

“We can put a lot of money back in people’s pockets,” Lovelady said.

Moore said this was the first full-service electronic cigarette store in the Birmingham area.

“We saw a need in our community,” Moore said. “We wanted to help stimulate growth in this shopping plaza that has been neglected for so long.”

The counter in Piggly Wiggly is the only location currently, but Lovelady and Moore plan to distribute them in other businesses in the area.

“Our goal is to have them everywhere cigarettes are sold,” Lovelady said.

Although Lovelady said there is no formal legislation in place regarding these items yet, customers must be at least 18 to purchase the products from All Smoke Free. The business plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.