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Flavored vaping product ban impacts customers and business owners

Customers say these vape products are what helped them stop smoking cigarettes, but now they're worried what will happen if they don't have access to them anymore.

Posted: Oct 4, 2019 6:18 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. --  Oregon is joining the list of places to ban flavored vape products - at least for the next six months. Governor Kate Brown announced Friday morning a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products. The ban is shocking a lot of vape-users and vape-shops.

Friday started off business as usual, but took a turn and now shops like Stone Cold Vapors are left packing their products into boxes.

NewsWatch12 spoke with the owner, Derek Van Horn, and he told us, "It's awkward being a vape shop owner in Oregon right now."

His shop is known for its wide varitety of flavored vaping products, so this ban is going to hit his business hard.

"We do have every intention of coming back into the industry if we're allowed to," Van Horn said. "Say in six months they allow all flavors to come back, we would open another vape shop or convert this one back into it, but for now we have to adapt to survive."

Shortly after Governor Brown announced the ban, he started packing up the his products and turning away customers. His business partner, Nikolaus McDonald said these products changed his life for the better.

"I used this to help me quit smoking," he said. McDonald admitted he started smoking tobacco for the first time at only 12-years-old.

"I cut cold-turkey and it's been about four years that I've been using vaping and I feel so much better."

Customers shared similar stories, like McDonald's. Jennifer Lopez smoked for 25 years and finally stopped a few years ago, thanks to vaping.

Lopez said, "I feel so much better, like I don't cough at night or in the morning, it's totally helped."

However, the ban could change that if she can't buy her vaping products anymore. 

"I don't know what I'm going to do anymore. I don't want to go back to cigarettes," she said. "I did take like a month to finally transition over to vaping and then, you know, I would try to take a drag of a cigarette and it was just too sick and disgusting."

Lopez said th ban on flavored vaping products came as a surprise to her because she thinks cigarettes are more dangerous. However, the ban comes after there were two vaping-related deaths in Oregon and thousands of illnesses nationwide. The CDC reported confirmed there has been at least 18 deaths in 15 states. On Tuesday, the CDC announced it suspects vaping THC is tied to the illnesses and deaths and released a list of labels that could be potentially dangerous.

Van Horn said, "It just seems absurd to panic and ban all flavors when we've narrowed it down to one specific product already which isn't even the product that I sell here."

"It eally just sucks because I've seen this place help out so many people through the same struggle of trying to quit cigarettes," McDonald said. He said customers spent the last few days stocking up on their products.

"They may have just started using these products to quit cigarettes and it's going good and so they want to stock up, so they don't have to go back to stop smoking cigarettes," he said. "But some people are just giving up because there's a lot of commotion."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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