On the vapor trail
Owner of The Smokey Treat talks vapor pens, cigarette-rolling machines and cigars

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

Oct. 2, 2014

Jacki Dabel blows peach-flavored smoke at her new smoke shop in Okauchee. In addition to more traditional supplies, she has an assortment of vapor pens and the juices used to fill them at The Smokey Treat, N50-W3500 Wisconsin Ave. 
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

OKAUCHEE ó In a climate that hasnít been the most accommodating to Wisconsinís smokers lately ó banning them from smoking in most public places ó a new business in Okauchee could light the way for Lake Countryís smokers.

At The Smokey Treat, N50W3500 Wisconsin Ave., owner Jacki Dabel will sell the smoke shop supplies people are more familiar with ó such as the machines for customers to roll their own cigarettes, an assortment of imported cigars and glass pipes created by local glass blowers.

She will also sell newer smoking implements that have come to the fore, such as the vapor pens that are becoming increasingly popular, and the smoke juice used inside of them.

She discussed her new business with the Enterprise on Tuesday.

ENTERPRISE: Where did your interest in opening a smoke shop come from?

DABEL: I worked at After Hours Lingerie and Gifts in Richfield, which was part lingerie and part smoke shop. I saw the customer demand and thought of how the Lake Country area didnít have a shop like it. I grew up in Sussex and am a 1993 graduate of Sussex-Hamilton, so I was familiar with and wanted to return to the area.

ENTERPRISE: Since you are opening a smoke shop, does that mean you are a cigarette smoker yourself ?

DABEL: I used to be, but quit because of the vapor pen. I started using it years ago, even before its recent rise in popularity. The vapor pen has no secondhand smoke, no unpleasant smell and no toxins.

There are also more flavors; youíd be amazed at the flavors available. Whereas cigarettes come in menthol and regular, the vapor pens can have flavors like blueberry pie and peach.

ENTERPRISE: How does a vapor pen work? And what are some of the ways it is different from a cigarette?

DABEL: You put in the smoke juice and a wick soaks up that liquid. The wick is wrapped around a metal chimney that heats up and vaporizes the juice.

The vapor pen is electric and doesnít require you to light it with a flame. Some pens require a battery, while others charge with a plug. There is a little button that you generally have to hit five times in quick succession to turn them on and off. This ensures that the pen doesnít turn on while in a purse or pocket.

You also hold it differently; a vapor pen doesnít go between the fingers, but is held more like a microphone.

Vapor pens can help a smoker wean off of tobacco, as Dabel was able to do, or they can be a way to smoke in the places where cigarettes and cigars are no longer allowed. 
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

ENTERPRISE: How durable is a vapor pen and what is its price range? Do you also offer ecigarettes?

DABEL: The pens run from $50 on up. If you take care of a pen, it can last for years. Itís like a cell phone ó you donít want to throw or drop it, or get it wet. I encourage customers to buy protective covers.

We will not be offering ecigarettes; I believe more people are switching to the vapor pens.

ENTERPRISE: Are vapor pens allowed in places where cigarettes arenít?

DABEL: Some bar owners have to be educated on what vapor pens are. They see smoke coming out and say ďyou canít have that here.Ē I have to explain to them what it is and then they generally allow it.

I also tell them that they are going to get more business if they put up signs saying that they are vapor -friendly.

ENTERPRISE: With the more traditional smoking of cigarettes, what are some trends youíve been seeing?

DABEL: Smoking cigarettes has this stigma on it now because of how it was made illegal everywhere. I feel bad for those people who have to stand outside like they did something wrong. You go through a small town and see people gathered outside of the bar because they canít smoke inside. This makes me feel bad for them, especially with winter coming.

Also, people are rolling their own cigarettes with rolling machines. The people who do so save a lot of money. You can produce a cartonís worth of cigarettes for what youíd pay for three packs. The process is simple and self-explanatory with the machine.

ENTERPRISE: What other features can customers look for at The Smokey Treat?

DABEL: We have ordered a humidor and are taking note of customersí cigar preferences. We are also looking for local glass blowers to show their work, and possibly have their pipes in the store on consignment.