Smoking, it seems, is a thing of the past. As wizarding society has begun to integrate some fringe forms of muggle culture, vaping has been on the rise. Much as we adapted the wireless from muggle radio services, vape stalls have been appearing in Diagon Alley, and even Hogsmeade. There are a variety of companies, each with their own claim to fame, though Vexing Vapors seems to be dominating the market.
But what exactly is vaping? A vape pen is similar in shape and size to a normal muggle pen- a self-inking, handheld, writing utensil. The pens heat oils, waxes and/or dried herbs, allowing the user to inhale pure vapor, without the harmful toxins traditionally found in tobacco smoke. A simple heating charm replaces the function of the Muggles’ battery, allowing wizards and witches to enjoy the benefits of smoking with fewer side effects. Though the long-term risks of vaping are unknown, many witches and wizards have turned to them as a slightly-healthier form of smoking.
“The vape juice, or little liquids that go in [our pens], come in almost any flavor you can imagine. We've even begun adding wizard-exclusive flavors to our selection,” says Stanley Shunpike, co-owner of Vexing Vapors. “I started seeing more and more people with ‘em on the Knight Bus, and saw an opportunity. I'm still there part time, and Lee handles the rest when I'm away. Best business partner I could ask for!”
Mr. Shunpike went on to say, “One plan in the works is ‘Bertie Botts Beans’. The set will contain ten unmarked, miniature vials of vape juice, bringing all the fun of the popular candy to your vape pen. Another flavor, 'Acid Pop’, packs a bit of a punch - a little goes a long way!”
We were informed by Lee Jordan that mandrake is an undesirable flavor, yet continues to be a top-seller. He said, “Even though it's a rather nasty taste, we decided to experiment with [mandrake]. We found it can replace a vital step in the process to becoming an animagus. Instead of keeping the leaf in your mouth, the mandrake juice will suffice to complete the change. Its sale is heavily regulated, though, so customers must be registered with the Ministry before purchasing from us. Then, they receive exactly the amount needed to complete the process, nothing more,” His cart is set up directly outside of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, owned and operated by Lee's life-long friends, George and Angelina Weasley.
“George and Angelina are our biggest supporters. They help test our juices, and they let us use this part of their lot free of charge. George says he's just paying me back for all of his and Fred's bungled experiments when we were kids. I count myself quite lucky to consider them as some of my closest friends. They are always pushing Stan and me to try something new and chase success.”
“Right now, we're looking into medicinal uses for our products. For instance, there is reason to believe that a vape juice could be brewed like a potion and yield similar effects. We've begun experimenting with the recipe for Pepper-Up Potion, and hope to have it ready soon.”
“What you really have to watch for,” Stan chimes in, “are the Vampire variants. Any juice with blood in the name does contain donated human blood. While it doesn’t hold the nutritional value of a full feeding, our customers say that vaping our Vampire Specialty Blends helps decrease how often they feel the need to feed!”
“We try to keep that stock separate from the rest, but Vampire Specialty Blends are some of our most popular products. Some of the vampires I've met have even said that it makes them feel a bit safer around humans, and vaping is innocuous enough to be a continual aid and appetite suppressant without drawing suspicion.”
A one-time investment with a lifetime guarantee, quality vape pens like, those sold by Vexing Vapors, are not cheap. “We use only the highest quality materials in our pens to help ensure that they last your entire lifetime. Our cheapest versions start at twenty-five galleons, and our top quality pen that produces smooth and plentiful vapors runs for nearly fifty galleons. We have special testers here at the cart with disposable mouthpieces so that our customers can try our juices and our pens to know exactly what they are buying.”
When asked about their long-term goals, Lee told us that they, “hope to continue finding ways that this simple, muggle device can enhance the quality of wizarding life.”
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