Dylan Zimmermann, 21, walks the bare floor of his empty storefront in the Cherry Hill Plaza in New Paltz. A smile lights up his face whenever he thinks about the possibilities. This shop, this idea is his own. Zimmermann is the owner of the New York Vape Club, an e-cigarette retailer and vaping pen lounge. Already he’s envisioning where the display cases will go and what will go on the shelves. He’s looking forward to his customers kicking back with a cup of coffee in front of a TV, trying out new e-cigarettes.
“I want this to be a place where people can come to hang out,” he explained.
Zimmermann, originally from Mahopac, sees e-cigarettes as an alternative for older smokers who’d like to ditch the lighters, matches and king packs for something with no odor and no foul taste. Originally, he and his father — who were both smokers — switched to vaping.
He sees it as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes — and a method to help people quit smoking. People who vape can choose their own nicotine dosage — eventually dialing it down to zero, if they’d like.
“It did something that the other quitting methods couldn’t do — the gums, the patches,” he said. “It helped with the oral fixation, and it has nicotine. Plus the flavor was better.”
After having worked at an e-cigarette shop in Wappingers Falls, Zimmermann decided to strike out on his own.
For two years, he lived in New Paltz with his older brother, while his brother went to college. It was the place that came to mind when he decided to start a business.
No one knows what health effects e-cigarettes have over the long haul, but Zimmerman sees a vast difference between the American-made brands he carries and the brands backed by Big Tobacco, such as Blu or Logic. Zimmerman just doesn’t see the quality in the Chinese-made, Big Tobacco vaping products.
“You really don’t know the quality of what you’re getting if you go with those brands,” he said.
“There’s a lot of confusion in the media about our product,” he added. New York Vape Club does not carry e-cigarette liquid with additives.
New York Vape Club is scheduled to open on April 1, but you can see what they offer at www.newyorkvapeclub.com or search for them on Facebook and Twitter.