I am a Laguna Beach resident and the owner of E-Cig City in Laguna Beach. I have read David Hansen's column for years and was in complete shock when I was bombarded by many people in regard to his Sept. 20 column in the Coastline Pilot.

I am sorry about his experience with a person blowing vapor in his face. This is not right. I am very careful to explain to my customers that they should not force vaping on people and should be very cautious when vaping around non-smokers.

I smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day for more than 38 years. I tried to quit too many times to remember. I tried patches, gum, hypnotism, cold turkey, even Chantix.

I have to say of all these smoking-cessation tools, Chantix was the absolute worst. The side effects of this drug were so terrible that my family asked me to start smoking again.

I tried my first electronic cigarette in 2010. It was a scam I saw on television for a free electronic cigarette, and I really didn't believe it would work, but I thought I would give it a shot.

Well, $285 later I realized that it actually didn't work consistently, but I thought, wow, if this would just work it could actually get me off cigarettes. So I started researching everything I could find on electronic cigarettes. I bought every single model available. I tried every flavor, most of which I could not stand. I tried every gadget, atomizer and cartomizer and found many terrible products but some really great ones.

I quit smoking. It really worked. I thought every single smoker should at least try one of these. If only someone could help people weed through all the scams and technology, really understand the individual needs of each person's particular situation to help them identify what works for them, this would be a wonderful alternative to smoking cigarettes.

That is when I came up with the idea to start a store. I want to get people off tobacco, apreventable cause of death in the United States.

I opened the store in February of 2011 and supply only the best of everything the industry has to offer at reasonable prices, better than you can find online. I patiently explain to each customer the pros and cons of every item and how to properly use and maintain the devices. I save customers money every chance I get even though electronic cigarettes are only a fraction of the monetary cost of smoking.

I have had customers come into my shop telling me their doctors, or dentist, sent them to me and told them they have to quit smoking. To date over 17,000 cigarette and cigar smokers have completely quit because of E-Cig City in Laguna Beach. Many, me included, enjoy the ritual of the hand-to-mouth of vaping and or the use of nicotine.

I do not sell to minors.

Jason Shaeffer

Laguna Beach


Food Pantry grateful for the Volunteers

In the past, I've expressed gratitude to local markets, organizations and individuals who have supported the Laguna Food Pantry. Because of them, our nonprofit has been able to provide free groceries to many people dealing with economic hardship.

But today I'd like to thank another group, the dedicated volunteers who work so hard to keep our refrigerators and shelves filled for friends, neighbors and strangers. Seven days a week, they are either picking up and delivering food in their own vehicles or unloading, cleaning, sorting and stocking the tons of donations our friends at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Pavilions give us.

All the while, they are gracious to our visitors, treating them with the warmth and dignity they deserve.

Some of the volunteers are shoppers who offered to stay to help. Others are our homeless neighbors, grateful for an opportunity to feel useful and give back. And quite a few are donors and residents who simply wanted to participate in a worthwhile cause. However they found their way to our door, we are deeply thankful they did.

Andy Siegenfeld