U.S. vape shops now making hand-sanitizer for first responders amid coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic is crippling local healthcare systems around the globe, placing doctors, nurses, and first responders in life-threatening situations on a daily basis.  As governors and mayors scramble to address the shortages of surgical masks, ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE), and even hand sanitizer, many local vape shops are deciding to step up.

Just as many clothes manufacturers and textile suppliers are pivoting their infrastructure towards the production of facial masks and hospital gowns, many e-liquid companies are transitioning towards the production of hand sanitizer, which is consistently flying off store shelves.  While many vaping businesses are donating their wares to first responders for free, some are also offering their sanitizing solutions to the general population for a small fee.

American Vapor Company of Texas

One such philanthropic enterprise is the American Vapor Company of Pflugerville, Texas.  According to a report filed by ABC News affiliate KVUE TV of central Texas, co-owner Justin Suriff and his partners decided way back in March to convert their operations towards hand sanitizer production.  The company is also one of those rare vape shops that sells their products to the general public. 

“Right now, we aren’t doing any e-liquids," Suriff told KVUE TV. "We feel like this is most important and most vape shops are closed right now anyway, so they’re not selling much e-liquid.”

Chuckin’ Clouds Vape Shop of Tennessee

Perhaps no other vape shop owner in the nation knows the risks of being a first responder better than Cody Braden, owner of Chuckin’ Clouds Vape Shop. Cody is also an assistant chief of his local fire department.  While his shop continues to sell over eighty different e-liquids even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company also offers its sanitizing solutions to local citizens while promising to avoid any appearance of price gauging.

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“As an assistant Chief on a Fire Department, I’ve seen firsthand the shortage of medical supplies that’s available. Being a first responder and business owner, I have to do my part to help the community fight COVID-19. Chuckin’ Clouds will continue to send medical supplies to the great state of Tennessee,” Cody told Clarksville Now.

Drippers Vape Shop of Arizona

While the coronavirus outbreak has forced many businesses to close – at least temporarily – due to communities being asked by public health officials to self-isolate, one Arizona vape shop is so busy making hand sanitizer that they’ve been lucky enough to keep their entire staff fully employed.  Drippers Vape Shop in El Dorado is so well-known for its commitment and dedication to first responders that it’s not uncommon for police officers, fire fighters, and EMT’s to stop by for some hand sanitizer before, after, and even during their shifts. 

“During this time, when supplies like hand sanitizer have become hard to come by, we appreciate it when local businesses change their business model and start producing those things.  That’s a pretty common occurrence, whether you’re talking about this public health crisis or other times — the people of El Dorado and Union County are always ready to lend a hand,” Emergency Fire Department Chief Chad Mosby told the El Dorado Times.

Drippers owner Stacy Weaver is only too happy to help.  She’s the proud mother of a son who is currently serving his country overseas as an active duty member of the U.S. military.  “We want to support the community, take care of those that are taking care of us…We’re happy to help any way that we can,” Weaver said.  “My husband is a combat veteran and my son is in the military, overseas, so we are really concerned about community and family and our country.”

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