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‘Vapers’ rally at SCV shop

Posted: August 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.

E-cigarette users puff on their products during a local rally promoting use and understanding at the Cloud N9ne Vape Pure shop in Saugus on Sunday. Signal photo by Jim Holt.

Through the hazy clouds of vapor in the tiny Saugus room, electronic cigarette users say they see quite clearly that "vaping" is a much healthier alternative to tobacco smoking.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 150 people gathered at the Cloud N9ne Vape Pure store on Bouquet Canyon Road at Plum Canyon Road for a rally of sorts, promoting and showing support for smokeless “e-cig” products.

“For me, personally, it has changed my life,” said Age Sahagun, who smoked tobacco products for 23 years.

Asked what percentage of event attendees were ex-tobacco smokers, he said; “Ninety-five percent.”

The goal of Cloud N9ne, according to the shop’s website, is to “provide the best smokeless cigarette products to our customers and to offer excellent customer service. After careful research we have chosen what we believe to be the best products to offer our customers at low prices.”

Outside the Cloud N9ne shop, as DJs in a truck pumped out party music, e-cig dealers under tents promoted scores of pipe-like devices for sale.

Inside the shop, filled with smoky e-cig exhalent, sat three young men who made the trip from Ventura to share in the event.

“It’s a healthier alternative to smoking,” said former tobacco-smoker Ryan Wilson, of Ventura. “There’s no tar, no chemicals.

“It’s a thousand times better for me,” he said.

His friend Matt Davis added: “I can breathe now. Now, I can actually run.”

Madeline Altieri, of Cloud N9ne, said she’s part of an emerging sub-culture.

“It’s huge in Southern California,” she said. “Santa Clarita Valley hasn’t been submerged into it yet. But, a lot of shops, between 10 and 15 of them, are in Santa Clarita.

“Our goal is to bring everyone together,” Altieri said. “We have people here who were smoking a pack (of tobacco cigarettes) a day and now they feel much better.”

Mark Burton, a promoter of electronic cigarettes, said he helps frame litigation cases against “state, federal and local governments” that move to restrict the use of the products.

“There is still a lot of misunderstanding about vapes,” he said.
He constantly educates people who have misconceptions about e-cig products, he said.

One misconception is e-cig products promote drug use. “You can’t use our devices for drugs,” he said. “Our heating element would kill the (marijuana drug component) THC,” he said.

“The thing I hear most is that it looks like smoking,” he said. “Can you tell the difference between vodka and water just by looking at it?”
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