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Why vaping is on the rise in and around Charlotte

Everyone in Charlotte has been dabbing to the hip-hop Migos’ track “Pipe It Up” during the Panthers playoffs run. But soon, the rap group might have to change it to “Vape It Up.”

Vaping has grown as a business in and around the Queen City. Kure Society, located in the EpiCentre next to the light rail station and CVS, is the sixth location for the company to open in the past year. It also has locations in Gastonia, Mooresville, NoDa, The Arboretum, the University area and Florida.

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So how has smoking flavored vapors using electronic devices become immensely popular, especially in North Carolina?

General Manager Nick Curl gave me these reasons why:

-Younger generations, especially in Eastern NC with military personnel,

enjoy vaping compared to traditional cigarettes.

-Productivity in the workplace increases. You don’t have co-workers annoyingly take long smoke breaks.

-It can be relaxing and calming. Vaping can help control anger management and ease tensions after a long, stressful day.

(Editor’s note: According to the American Lung Association, “early studies show that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and also may have other harmful chemicals.”)

I’m not a smoker or a vaper, but Kure really stepped up its game by making its space into a hip club-like lounge atmosphere unlike a dingy unlit room I assumed every vape store was on the inside. And Nick, along with his staff, act as consultants to your whole experience of learning and using the products.

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For newbies, devices start at around $20. As the battery and model box increases in size, you get more cloud production from your smoke as well as being able to savor more of the flavors in the liquid. So if you want to puff circles like a dragon, then you’ll have to invest in a more expensive model that can be a few hundred dollars.

And at the main flavor bar, you have around 45 flavored vapors to choose from. You can even mix and match flavors with the Kure menu or customize your own unique blend…which has over half a million options.

The most popular flavors are custard and vampire juice (fruit punch flavored). My favorites to puff on were the pistachio, Sour Patch Kids and graham cracker flavors. I might just skip dessert more often and vape on some chocolate cake.

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Photos: Will Johnson.

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