As the FDA continues to pursue the ban of flavored e-cigarettes, local vape shop owners are concerned about the unintended consequences the pull may come with for former cigarette smokers.
“We’ve had a number of people who come in here and say, ‘I’m either tired of smoking’ or ‘I want to quit what can I do to get off of these?’ “Tim Thompson, Elevate Vape Shop and Botanical Bar Owner, said.
The majority of Thompson’s customers are former cigarette smokers who use e-cigarettes to slowly lower their use of nicotine.
“You can’t control the nicotine in a cigarette, where we can control the nicotine on this and curb them down and bump them down to zero and actually try to get them off of doing anything all together,” Thompson said.
Local, state, and federal level restrictions have been implemented on e-cigarettes because of the attraction they have on teens. Thompson says this could have a negative effect on customers who are working to lower their nicotine addiction.
“There is no other alternative out there, if they take this as an alternative, people will go back to smoking regular cigarettes,” Thompson said.
Thompson says the people that are buying from the black market are the problem, not the devices.
“We hope they won’t ban flavored e- cigarettes, but if they do then we’ll have to figure out the regulations and what we are actually able to sell,” Thompson said.
“Hopefully there will be light, smaller alternatives for people to still try to not smoke and be off of cigarettes.”
Owners say banning flavored e-cigarettes could also cause users to mix their own juice or turn to the black-market resulting in more fatalities.