The shops open as vaping continues to spark growth in the tobacco market
Two smoke shops have opened in Auburn this month, and the owners of both hope they can add marijuana to their businesses now that the drug has been legalized in New York state.
Open at 67 Franklin St. as of last week is the Auburn Smoke Shop, owned and operated by Mohamed Algamal. He told The Citizen he opened the shop, his first, because he felt the area could use one. It sells cigarettes, cigars, vapes, CBD products, hookahs, pipes and more. Algamal said he aims to offer every type of tobacco product his customers want, and at affordable prices.
Also open, in the former Infinite Auto Sports at 104 Grant Ave., is Auburn Express Smoke Shop. Owned by friends Adam Albadeh and Najmeddin Ghaleb, of Syracuse, the shop opened April 13, Albadeh told The Citizen. Both owners have worked in smoke shops for years, and felt motivated to open their first in Auburn. It sells vapes, bongs, hookahs, e-cigarettes, grinders, kratom and more.
The shops open as vaping continues to spark growth in the tobacco market. Between the diversity of products available and the perception that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, the technology has remained popular despite legislative efforts to limit it. In New York state, flavored nicotine vape products were banned beginning in May 2020.
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