With growing business, Max Vapor on the moveMarch 5, 2018
By LEANN BURKE
JASPER — When Max Huebner moved back to Jasper from Evansville in 2013, he was selling electronic cigarette — also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs — merchandise from his car and saving up to open a store. In 2014, Huebner opened Max Vapor and now has locations in Jasper and Vincennes. Both stores have outgrown their original spaces.
Max Vapor stores only sell e-cigarettes — which are battery-powered devices that turn liquid nicotine into a vapor that users then inhale — and related parts such as the nicotine cartridges that are inserted into the devices. The location in Jasper recently moved to 707 W. 6th St. from its old location on Jackson Street. Huebner and his staff in Vincennes are getting ready to move to a larger facility, as well.
“We were pretty confined where we were,” Huebner said of the Jasper location.
In the four years he’s been open, Huebner said, he’s seen business grow 30 to 40 percent annually, driven primarily by cigarette smokers trying to kick their habit with the little white sticks. Huebner himself was a two-packs-a-day smoker until about six years ago when he decided to quit. He switched to e-cigarettes and noticed changes in his health. He no longer coughs and wheezes, and he can run 5 miles, something he couldn’t do when he smoked cigarettes.
Huebner’s health improvements after switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes likely aren’t just a coincidence. Although e-cigarettes haven’t been popular long — they gained popularity in the U.S. around 2008 — several scientific studies suggest that for smokers, e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes.
In January, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a 600-page report on e-cigarettes that reviewed all the peer-reviewed studies to date. The report found that while e-cigarettes do still contain toxins, they contain fewer toxins and smaller concentrations of toxins than combustible tobacco cigarettes. The report also found that switching to e-cigarettes reduced short-term adverse health effects. Long-term effects of e-cigarettes as well as the second-hand effects of the vapor are still unknown, the report found.
Huebner is optimistic that his business will continue to grow as more smokers decide to quit cigarettes, and he has plans to open more locations in the future. While he won’t say e-cigarettes are for sure safe — that’s for scientists to decide — he knows switching made a difference for him.
“The carcinogens aren’t there; there aren’t as many chemicals,” he said. “And there’s no tar in it.”
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