Vape Culture, Slowly.
While charming, affordable, and down-to-earth friendly, Windsor, Ontario isn’t known for being the earliest adopter of new trends. We tend to take the “wait and watch” approach to movements that start on the coasts and slowly move their way inward. We want to, first, see if these so-called cultural shifts have sufficient staying power to warrant our pragmatic attention; and we’d like the big city folks to work out all the kinks before we really buy in. We don’t like being guinea pigs. We’re too much of a family town. We play it safe.
That often means waiting a little longer for hot concepts like Vape Shops or even Chipotles to open around the corner…and we’re fine with that. Sure we like the idea of fast casual Mexican food, but, hey, we first need conclusive, double-blind proof that this chain of over 1600 locations won’t give our kids the runs. And, sure we want to kick that stinking habit and live healthier lives, but didn’t The Star say they those vape thingys were banned or something? said the typical quick-glancing headline-reader.
Ok, so maybe population size and demographics also have something to do with our tortoise approach towards championing “All Things New.”
And if that’s the case, well, would-be vape shop owners, you’re in luck. Indeed, the demographics of Windsor and its surrounding areas actually bode very well for vape shops in Windsor. According to this report from The Windsor Essex County Health Unit, Windsor, Ontario has one of the highest percentage of daily and occasional smokers in Canada.
And where there is smoke, there are countless people looking to put out the fire. Add to that the highest unemployment rate among major Canadian cities (smoking is often correlated with stress) and you’ve got a Windsor populace that could definitely use some new tools for tobacco harm reduction.
Enter…the venerable vape shop.
Windsor Vape Shops: Options
In addition to VapeVine.ca, which is based in the greater Windsor area, there have been some local vaping pioneers that have both educated and served Windsor’s – slowly-but-surely – growing vape culture.
Paul Dinunzio at Vaporama has been a huge influence in the vaping community, offering both high quality products at his Amherstburg store and well-reasoned arguments against the provincial government’s over-reaching legislation. His Windsor Star video interviews are legendary.
Mike Hart of VapeMe Vapables is another local vape hero and eliquid mixologist who has been vocal in standing up for the rights of vapers. His once a month Vape Meets at Villians Beastro (last Sunday of every month) have been a sanctuary for enthusiasts looking to share, sample and socialize.
Are vaporizers even legal? What is the law in Windsor?
Whether it’s the misleading press onslaught, a general lack of awareness or just a combination of the two, Windsor has certainly been slow to wholeheartedly embrace vaping. Many people mistakenly believe that vaporizers are banned. Not true. Vaporizers and eliquid are very legal. The “Making Healthier Choices Act” (Ontario Bill 45) is a proposal to regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes, not ban them.
One of the amendments make sense and most reputable vape stores support and already practice this provision: No Sales to Minor Under The Age of 19. Even though it is still currently legal for anyone to purchase these devices and eliquid (the age restriction comes into effect January 1, 2016), the industry already, happily, preemptively, self-regulates. Yet more evidence that profits are not the only motivation for responsible vape shop owners.
As for the other proposed amendments, most are too far reaching in their scope. While we won’t address them in this article, suffice it to say that treating electronic cigarettes exactly like a tobacco product is irresponsible and unreasonable. We invite you self-educate, sign the Change.org petition, call and write to your local elected Members of Provincial Parliament and get involved anyway you can if you believe that regulations should make sense.
But again. Vaporizers are perfectly legal. Vaping is perfectly legal. Now, as to where you can vape publicly, well the Smoke-Free Ontario Act has a say in that, as do your town’s own bylaws. So, find out how your municipality defines the concepts of “smokeless tobacco” and “non-tobacco” and “heated smoking equipment.” Almost all include vaporizers, so tread carefully and never be flippant about their use. Indeed, it is best to practice tolerance anyway, and always have consideration for others when you are vaping, no matter where. There is no need to be flamboyant about it. Show respect and it will be given.
So, vape away…albeit responsibly.
But if you have a deep-seated fear that the greedy tyrannical government is someday going to outlaw the sale of vaporizers once and for all…well, you better stock up on as much vape hardware as possible at Vapevine.ca…hurry while you still can! 🙂
Smoke-Free Ontario Act:
Prohibits smoking on and around children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields and surfaces such as ice rinks or tennis courts or municipally owned splash pads or swimming pools. Smoking is also banned on all bar and restaurant patios, with an exemption for Royal Canadian Legions.