Cigs 4 Less store and retail manager Kareem “Buck” Waz takes pride in not only offering the widest selection of smoking necessities, but also takes pride in treating the Dyer shop’s customers like part of the family.
“We know there is competition, but we’re offering things other places in the area don’t,” he said.
Cigs 4 Less opened July 1 and is quickly becoming a popular destination for people in Lake County and in the southern Chicago suburbs.
Waz said the family-owned business takes pride in getting to know it’s customers on a personal level.
“If you want to quit, we will help you. If you want to save money, we will help you,” he said. “We like to know our customer’s names and be able to grab their cigarettes, incense or whatever as soon as they walk in the door. That’s what separates us from everyone else. We treat our customers like family.”
Waz, of Palos Park, Ill., believes Cigs 4 Less fills a need in the community by offering a wide variety of products including candles, incense, hooka products, electronic cigarettes, cigars, roll-your-own supplies as well as dozens of other miscellaneous items.
They also offer an ATM for people to use, and don’t charge any fees for the people who use it.
“We do things outside of the box,” he said. “Our motto is, we’re a one-stop-shop for smokers. If you can burn it, we sell it.”
The business has a variety of smoke-odor products to help families made up of smokers and non-smokers. The products include candles, sprays, and car fresheners that help eliminate the odor of smoke.
They also carry as many as 40 varieties of incense and numerous types of holders.
Cigs 4 Less has an extensive selection of cigars, from premium to generic. Cigars are imported from Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
The business is also in the planning stages for adding a walk-in humidor, Waz said.
Two items that are popular with non-smokers as well as smokers are hooka pipes and electronic cigarettes, Waz said.
Hooka pipes are water pipes that use a molasses tobacco, he said.
“Hooka tobacco comes in all sorts of flavors, including blueberry, vanilla and chocolate. Whatever you desire, it comes in that flavor,” he said.
Hooka pipes are popular in social gatherings, he said, because it’s a relaxing, flavored smoke.
“It’s a calming thing,” he said. “It’s 100 percent legal.”
Electronic cigarettes have been a hot seller at Cigs 4 Less since it opened, Waz said. The shop currently offers three brands of the electronic cigarettes, including their own E-Quality brand, and will continue to add additional options.
“There are multiple reasons people use the electronic cigarettes, either for health reasons or if they’re trying to quit,” he said.
They come at a variety of nicotine strengths, from full-strength to zero nicotine, he said, so people can either wean themselves from smoking or choose a nicotine level they feel is appropriate for them.
“It’s a lot healthier, and it comes in a lot of flavors,” he said. “Many non-smokers are coming in and trying it because of the flavors. We have everything from apple to blueberry to peach.”
Electronic cigarettes as also more cost-effective than buying cartons of cigarettes, which can cost up to $40 or $50 a carton.
“You can get a kit, which is cigarette, charger and the liquid, at the equivalent of paying $7 to $10 a case,” he said.
Waz said Cigs 4 Less encourages customers to come in and try new things, and will let customers try things, including roll-your-own and electronic cigarettes, for free.
“Our motto is you should try it before you buy it,” he said. “We ask them what they currently smoke, and what they want to try, and they can try it for free.”
Roll-your-own cigarettes are also popular for customers who are interested in saving money, Waz said.
“You can buy the machine for $35.99 and buy a pound of tobacco, and it winds up being the equivalent of less than $10 a carton,” he said. “We can help them make a brand similar to what they’re smoking now. And they can always sample before the buy.”
Cigarettes remain an important part of the business, and Cigs 4 Less is proud to offer cigarettes at state-minimum pricing.
“We have the cheapest prices you can offer in Indiana,” he said. “No one can sell it cheaper than us. We have literally hundreds of brands of cigarettes from premium, high-end cigarettes to generics.”
They also have imported varieties of cigarettes, from brands popular in Canada to clove cigarettes found in India.
They also offer wood pipes and pipe in a variety of flavors, as well as numerous varieties of lighters and ash trays.
Waz is customers will be happy with their experience at Cigs 4 Less.
“We stand out from other businesses,” he said. “We want people to leave with a smile on their face.”