Vape shops selling banned flavors until health department checks in

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Cuomo’s e-cig flavor ban went into effect immediately on September 17. However, shops have until October 4 before the Department of Health says they’ll do store visits and enforce.

Joe Lapi works for a smoke shop that’s selling their products at a discounted price until the grace period ends. However, that’s only 30 percent of his smoke shop’s inventory.

He says vape shop inventories will be affected the most.

“They’re losing about 90 percent of their business with the flavors,” Lapi told News10.

A vape shop in Albany called “That Store” told News10 in a statement that they are not only concerned about their business, but also their customers.

“A worrying percentage of our adult customers have already told us that this ban will cause them to go back to smoking cigarettes, something we have proudly never sold.”

That Store on Lark Street

Lapi worries that the ban will push people toward using e-liquids that aren’t regulated.

“I think it’s just kind of creating an illegal market,” Lapi said, “they’re just going to start making their own. You’re dealing with nicotine here. Nicotine is a very dangerous substance.”

Governor Cuomo’s ban comes after a surge in vaping-related illnesses and deaths, and a rise in vaping popularity among youth.

“In four years, the percentage of high school users who use e-cigarettes and vaping has increased 160 percent,” Governor Cuomo said at a press conference when the ban was announced.

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