Credit: Andrea Bauer

When I entered Vape312 I had half a pack of cigarettes on my person and zero intention of buying anything. If you’re not familiar with “vaping,” it’s the act of puffing away on a long electronic cigarette that’s actually a lot like smoking a hookah. Vape312 is cornering the market on the trend early by stocking the smoking devices and a way bigger and higher-quality selection of vapor “juices,” with and without nicotine, than you’d find at a regular old head shop. (Frankly, I can’t imagine bothering buying an e-cigarette or juices unless you were getting some nicotine out of the deal, but you’re talking to an addict here.) The chalk menu has dozens of flavors, from tobacco blends to candy-sweet ones like Tropical Toucan and something called Belmont Brew, but Vape312 is as much a hangout as it is a store. There’s a bar where you can sit and sample different flavored juices—they’ll even loan you an e-cig—and inhale the pleasantly sweet vapors without hacking up a lung. I hung out for a while and talked to some experienced vapers about how they liked it, and the consensus was that it’s a great way to kick cigarettes (granted, for another type of cigarette). I was just about to thank everyone and leave when Alan, the director of operations, looked me dead in the eye and said, “I just really want to see you quit smoking.” Alan, you’re good. I’m now the proud owner of a red e-cig and a bottle of tobacco-flavored juice to go with it. The kind with nicotine.