Best Place to Quit Smoking

D.C. Vape Joint
2337 18th St. NW, (202) 939-1360
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Get it through your heads, D.C. legislators: E-cigarettes are not tobacco products. Councilmembers David Grosso and Yvette Alexander probably thought they were doing the right thing when they introduced last year’s Electronic Cigarette Parity Amendment Act, which would treat smokeless nicotine vaporizers and cancer sticks the same way under D.C. law. But the jury is still out on vapes, and until credible research finds that using e-cigarettes in public is harmful to other people, long live the D.C. Vape Joint. The little Adams Morgan basement shop, which opened last month in the space formerly occupied by record store Joint Custody, sells e-cigarette hardware and about 35 varieties of nicotine-laced “juices” that help smokers cut the tobacco habit. The juices range from $10 to $20, and just one $10 bottle equates to about four or five packs of cigarettes, says co-owner Erik Miller. With flavors that range from fruity to “huh?”—like one creamy, nutty flavor mysteriously named “honky tonk”—the D.C. Vape Joint could help curtail the popularity of flavored cigars that are attracting more kids to real smoking. Plus, if we allow e-cigarettes to be used in smoke-free places, that means reformed smokers aren’t going outside to vape right alongside smokers, possibly derailing their attempts to quit. Lawmakers, for now, should just let the honky tonk play on.