Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Norway's second vape shop opened yesterday

Inside smoke-it.no's brand new vape shop.
Yesterday Jonathan Storm Sørensen opened Norway's second pure vape shop at Biri, a pretty small village by Norway's biggest lake, Mjøsa. In an article in local newspaper GD (http://goo.gl/YkHCc0) Jonathan explains that he started out with a webshop but now chooses to open a shop. Even thought Biri is a pretty small place, it's located between the Olympic towns of Lillehammer, Gjøvik and Hamar so he is kind of covering the whole Mjøsa region. Until now there has been no shops between Oslo and Trondheim and this is a market that grows fast at the expense of tobacco, he says. To be honest I didn't know where the first vape shop in Norway was and why he mentions Oslo and Trondheim, so I talked a bit to Jonathan on Facebook. It turns out there is a vape shop in Oslo which opened in January (http://www.premium-esigg.no/, or have a look at their facebook page with loads of goodies: https://www.facebook.com/premiumesigg) and right outside Trondheim (where I live) dampoteket.no is located. Even though dampoteket is a webshop you can actually go visit them and probably buy some equipment there.

Jonathan served cake on the opening day :)
As many of you probably know the legal status of e-cigarettes is kind of weird here in Norway. Jonathan quickly emphasizes to the newspapers that he is not selling nicotine e-juice as this is not legal here, but users who wants nicotine have to go online to order. I talked to Jonathan about this and he says that he is still using nicotine e-juice himself, but has cut down from 24 to like 9-12 mg/ml since he started vaping a year ago. He also expects that Norway will have to follow the TPD when it is implemented in 2016. That means it will be legal to sell nicotine e-juice here as well, within the limits of the directive of course. 
"It will probably become legal and regulated. In a way this is a good thing as it ensures that the juice will be "pure" enough, but there is a risk that it will become very expensive and that not everyone will be allowed to sell it. I don't think whether I get a permit to sell or not will affect my business too much, as everyone will always need the equipment, but of course there will be some losses. But I hope I get a permit to sell", says Jonathan.
He also says he is very satisfied with the opening day. Lots of customers and the local branch of NDS (Norwegian union of vapers) even had a vape meet there yesterday.

As I've said several times lately, the trend here in Norway at the moment is that vaping is becoming more and more visible and "normalized". I expect that we'll see more vape shops popping up during this year. I'm guessing that some of the other Norwegian web-shops already have plans, or will be inspired by Jonathan and will start planning now. I must say I am a bit disappointed in Jonathan's timing though, as I was in a wedding in Gjøvik just a week before he opened :) Would have been fun to see the shop. But hopefully I'll have time to stop by next time I'm in the area.

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