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New Vape Shop Opens in Downtown Covington

With waves of information continuing to steadily describe the health risks of smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products, vaping, the smoke-free alternative has skyrocketed in popularity.

Vaping is done with electronic cigarettes that heat up oils to a vapor that consumers ingest rather than the more harmful smoke of the past. Vaping is widely accepted as a less harmful alternative to smoking and is often viewed as more permissible in public around other non-smokers.

With vaping's increasing popularity, more stores that cater to the growing number of customers are popping up in Northern Kentucky.

The latest is in Covington on Madison Avenue called Venom Vape Shop, owned by Josh Land. The approach of the business is centered around the health factor vaping provides as a way to help smokers reduce the nicotine levels they ingest by controlling the amount of nicotine they purchase that is in the oil they buy, Land said.

“The main goal is to help people stop smoking and become healthier,” Land said. “It’s also a way more affordable option than cigarettes.”

To begin vaping, consumers purchase a starter kit that consists of an electronic cigarette, a carrying case, and a bottle of what Land calls juice which is the oil. A starter kit can be purchased at Venom for as low as $20. After the starter kit is bought, the vapor would then purchase refills of the juice. Venom carries over 250 flavors of juice.

Land said that the juice is made up of vegetable glycerin and that the nicotine additive in the juice is optional.

“You don’t have to get nicotine at all,” he said. “There are different nicotine levels. There is a 24 milligram nicotine level, 18 milligrams, 12 milligrams and 6 milligrams.”

He said that people who smoke over a pack of cigarettes a day usually don’t purchase the highest nicotine level, but if they’re trying to rid themselves of their nicotine addiction, they will start somewhere in the middle and wean themselves off with lower and lower levels. Others who have never smoked cigarettes before will buy nicotine-free juice to use recreationally just for fun. 

The e-cigarettes can produce huge vapor clouds which attract some customers.

Venom has been in Covington for three months after relocating from their previous shop in Florence.  Land said that he is currently moving toward expanding into another location, likely somewhere else in Northern Kentucky. Venom currently employs four people in the shop.

Land spends a lot of time in his store educating his customers and what vaping is and how it is done. He has even had customers that were recommended by their doctors to make the switch from smoking to vaping.

“I guide them and teach them how to do it, especially if they’re trying to quit smoking,” he said. “I had one guy in here whose doctor actually told him to give it a try. He had just had his fifth heart surgery and he told him it was because he kept smoking.”

Venom on Madison Avenue opens daily at Noon.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor