Vape shops scramble to respond to proposed ban on flavoured products
At the Jubilee Vape & Smoke shop in Manhattan, manager Inam Rehman and co-workers spent Monday morning trying to parse the governor’s plans, holding off ordering more of the vaping products that make up more than 35% of their business, and fielding questions from patrons.
“It’s all a big confusion,” Rehman said as he oversaw a store stocked with vaping devices and small bottles of oils in Amazing Mango, Hawaiian Pog, Brain Freeze and other flavours. “We don’t know. What do we to tell our customers?”
The new rules come as health officials investigate what might be causing hundreds of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. They have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including six deaths.
According to data from the state health department, nearly 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school learners overall in the state use e-cigarettes. High school use went from 10.5% in 2014 to 27.4% last year.
Other states are expected to consider restrictions on e-cigarettes, too. In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer this month ordered that state’s health department come out with emergency rules to prohibit flavoured e-cigarette sales.