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Local vape shops react to temporary hold on flavor ban

(WBNG) — The ban on flavored e-cigarettes has local vape shops in our area worried.

“If I’m honest, it broke my heart. I haven’t really slept the past two weeks if you can see the bags,” said H & J Foghouse owner Hunter Thomas.

Thomas says at his shop, 80% of his sales come from flavored e-juice.

“Once we found out about the ban, we put all of our vape stuff 25% off. Everything, our juice, our mods, everything vape-related we had 25% off to put funds into other things to try and keep going,” he said.

Right now, the shelves at H & J Foghouse are almost empty. Thomas says if the ban stays in place, he would be forced to sell other products with the hope of staying open.

“I’m going to try and move in the direction of like glass and t-shirts and just other things to stay open while the ban is in effect. And then if it gets lifted or they come to a compromise that we can live with whatever they decide, then I’ll go back into doing what I like to do,” he said.

Even larger vape shops say they would be hurt by the ban.

“Essentially what’s going to happen is we’re going to lose 90% of our sales in terms of retail,” said Vapor King wholesale manager Josh Hanyon.

And they’re all arguing it wouldn’t only affect them, but also the state’s economy.

“There’s no reason to push business and money that could be spent in New York to surrounding states, because that’s just what people are going to do,” said Thomas.

So with the news of the flavor ban being temporarily on hold, it’s a small vape shop victory, at least for now.

“I see it as a win for us because they’re actually trying and our word is being heard. The phone calls we have made haven’t been ignored,” said Thomas.

“We’re excited, I mean we don’t want to get our hopes up just yet because there’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Hanyon.

A ruling on the ban is expected later this month.

Annie Flaherty

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