Top Grade Vapors debuts in Oxford
By Steven Hoffman
When a customer walks into Top Grade Vapors, a new store in Oxford, owner Bill Nichols can share his own experiences with electronic cigarettes. Four years ago, Nichols used them to help beat his addiction to nicotine cigarettes.
“I used electronic cigarettes to stop smoking four years ago,” Nichols explained. “It’s the only thing that worked for me and I haven’t wanted [a cigarette] since then. I found that I really enjoy the flavors, and liked that I could step down on the nicotine. I’m still ‘vaping’ but with much less nicotine than when I smoked. I’m really excited to share this smoking alternative with Oxford and the surrounding communities.”
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers that offer a similar feel to tobacco smoking. They do not contain tobacco, although they do use nicotine from tobacco plants. They produce an aerosol mist rather than cigarette smoke.
Electronic cigarettes are still very new—the U.S. Food and Drug Administration only published proposed regulations for them in April—and the benefits and risks of the product are still being determined, but Nichols is one of many people who have found them to be a helpful smoking cessation aid.
Top Grade Vapors, which held a grand opening celebration on Dec. 12, is one of a growing number of brick-and-mortar vape shops that are popping up as the popularity of electronic cigarettes increases.
“We sell electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, and mechanical modifications, which are also known in the industry as mods,” Nichols explained. “We also feature e-Liquids that are fresh and made to order.”
Several members of the Nichols family are involved in the business, which has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Nichols explained that he wants customers to come in and enjoy the tasting bar where they can sample a variety of delicious flavors.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially mark the store’s opening, Sue Cole, the executive director of Oxford Mainstreet, inc. talked about how Top Grade Vapors is a good addition to the business district.
“They bring diversity to the business district, which is great,” Cole said. “And this is a family business.”
Top Grade Vapors is located at 9 North Third Street, Suite 1, in Oxford. The store’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 pm. Monday through Saturday. Nichols said that the store will be open until 9 p.m. during Oxford’s First Friday events each month.
Additionally, the store has a Facebook page and a website at topgradevapors.com is on the way.