‘It would put me out of business’: Local vape store owner reacts to Trump’s plan to ban flavored e-cigarette products

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – President Trump announced plans to ban the sale of most flavored electronic cigarette products Wednesday.

A ban would take weeks for the FDA to release its final rule and companies could legally challenge the ban but the idea is causing concern for some vape store owners.

“They’ve been trying to aggressively regulate this industry since we first opened. Which is absolutely understandable, it’s a product you put in your body that contains nicotine,” says Century Vape owner, Christos Karimbakas.

Karimbakas says flavored e-cigarette products are the most popular products among his two stores.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced plans to ban the flavored products as a response to what health officials call a “vaping epidemic,” with health officials linking hundreds of lung-related illnesses and at least six deaths back to vaping.

“A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it’s great, it’s really not wonderful,” President Trump said.

The President says the Federal Drug Administration will work on a plan to remove all flavored nicotine from the market with the exception of tobacco flavors, aimed at people trying to quit smoking.

“That would pretty much put me out of business and I would have to get the creative juices flowing about how I would use this real estate I have three more years on,” Karimbakas said.

Karimbakas says the ban is misguided, and health officials should focus on the dangers of THC oil cartridges some people reported using before they became ill.

“Vaping has been around for a very long time whereas those oil cartridges are a very recent thing,” Karimbakas said.

The CDC has advised people to avoid e-cigarettes in general. They are currently investigating more than 450 cases of lung disease officials believe were triggered by vaping.

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