After Jason Weber quit smoking and turned to vaping, he discovered he had a knack for creating vape juice, and started selling it to customers three years ago from a display case at a glass shop. Since then, he’s opened up his own business, Vape Crusaders, at 1058 W. Harvard Ave., and plans to open a second location at 764 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg by the end of January.
“We’re extremely blessed the business is constantly growing,” Weber said. “It’s saved so many lives.” He said the ultimate goal of Vape Crusaders is to get people to quit smoking. The staff follows up with customers coming in to help support them in their efforts to stop smoking, and Weber said he’s seen a positive success rate for them.
Some customers drop their old packs of cigarettes and tobacco products into what’s known as the “death bucket” in the store, leaving behind their old habits in a 55 gallon bucket and turning toward vaping instead.
The business has grown into a nation-wide company, selling its juice wholesale from coast to coast. The vape juice is made at the current Vape Crusaders location in an ISO Cleanroom Level 7 laboratory. The new store on Garden Valley will have an upstairs storefront above Seven Thai and the Garden Valley Vitamin Center, but will also offer curbside service for elderly or disabled customers.
Weber co-owns the business with wife Elizabeth Amber Weber, who handles the books, scheduling and the major lab work. Weber said she is a huge part of the business, and Vape Crusaders wouldn’t be nearly as successful without her.
Garret Waugh, manager of the current Vape Crusaders location, said he’s been grateful to work with the Webers over the past two years.
“Every day you get someone in here trying to quit smoking, and that’s another life changed,” Waugh said. “It makes me really happy to see people living a happier, healthier life.” Waugh said he knows from personal experience how detrimental smoking is to someone’s health. He only smoked for a little over a year, but during that time he found it difficult to walk up and down stairs without wheezing or coughing up “black nonsense.” He said vaping doesn’t give him those effects.
Vape Crusaders won first place in the “Best Breakfast Cereal” category for its vape juice that tastes like Fruity Pebbles at the West Coast Vape Expo last year.
“Jason is extremely good at what he does when it comes to mixing juice,” Waugh said.
Weber said vaping is often looked down upon because people aren’t aware it’s a healthier option than smoking.
“It’s crazy how often we’ve been discriminated against,” Weber said, adding he didn’t get the opportunity to move into a different building in the Garden Valley Shopping Center because the landlords didn’t want to lease to a vape shop. He said he wants to help educate people that vaping does not have the same negative health effects as smoking cigarettes, and can become a healthier substitute.
The Royal College of Physicians 2016 report states the use of non-tobacco nicotine products like vaping pens or e-cigarettes appears to be an effective aid to quit smoking.
“Nicotine, contrary to the propaganda, does not cause cancer,” Weber said. He equated it to caffeine, as both are stimulants that raise blood pressure temporarily, but he said the vape juice does not have the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.