Twenty-percent of adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, another 3.5-percent use e-cigarettes. It's a trend becoming more popular everyday. Gina Bullard found one business that's e-liquid has been Made in Vermont since the beginning.
It's with him wherever he goes -- Adam Tredwell's trusty e-cig. "I have my drugs," Tredwell laughed.
He makes those drugs for his company, Vermont Vapor. "We make the liquid that goes into the electronic cigarette," he said.
E-cigs deliver nicotine vapor to your lungs without lighting actual tobacco on fire. Founded in 2009, Vermont Vapor blazed a trail -- it was the second manufacturer of e-liquid in the U.S. The concoction is made from nicotine, alcohol, water, and flavoring. Currently e-cigs are not approved by the FDA -- but regulations are coming down the pipeline.
"I started law school, they said I was going to have five-hour exams, and I thought - not without a cigarette I'm not," Tredwell said.
That's when Tredwell starting vaping and using an e-cigarette. The problem was the e-liquid, or vape juice, he was buying didn't taste good, so he decided to make his own. Our cameras weren't allowed in the clean room of the Castleton business because of insurance and safety reasons.
"Most the stuff you buy in a gas station, even if it says made in America, was made in China. The nicotine was added in China and then brought over and flavored. And the problem is they don't refrigerate it, and nicotine degrades with heat and light," Tredwell said. He says that makes vape juice taste stale and turn colors like yellow and orange. But Vermont Vapor found a way around that -- it refrigerates all its products. "It'll stay fresh for a year or two in the fridge."
Vermont Vapor offers 25-flavors in five strengths -- the most popular being blackberry and cool mint. The company has customers all over the world, including Tredwell's mom who works for him. She was a smoker for 41 years before she tried one of the battery operated devices. "I was up over 2 packs a day and I wanted to continue smoking, but I was wheezing and coughing a lot. I mean a lot," Barker said. After vaping for three days, she says never picked up another cigarette again. "If somebody like me, who no way in hell is going to quit smoking, just like that gives up cigs, it's a good thing and I want to be a part of that."
E-cigs don't have any smell and the liquid is much cheaper. "For the average pack-a-day smoker you're talking $30 a month as opposed to $240 a month. That in itself is a no-brainer, plus my car doesn't stink, my house doesn't stink, my dogs love me more," Barker said.
Tredwell is banking on customers wanting to know what's in their e-liquid and it being Made in Vermont.
For additional resources on E- Cigarettes:
PO Box 4508