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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: 138587

Reported Deaths: 1882
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29216464
Washington19330179
Marion16787248
Clackamas12085141
Lane8803113
Jackson718996
Umatilla701173
Deschutes521240
Yamhill330849
Linn321950
Malheur320155
Polk258740
Klamath255046
Josephine185436
Benton182314
Douglas178545
Jefferson173825
Union115417
Wasco112523
Columbia107618
Lincoln103817
Coos102015
Hood River98621
Morrow96710
Clatsop7075
Crook66213
Baker5835
Tillamook3712
Curry3255
Lake2575
Grant2171
Harney1826
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3213222

Reported Deaths: 37543
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles107967215314
San Bernardino2660281678
Riverside2643632857
Orange2377082704
San Diego2286322375
Santa Clara985831264
Kern90564591
Fresno858081067
Sacramento841101185
Alameda70823896
Ventura66402525
San Joaquin59665835
Contra Costa55245489
Stanislaus49065796
Tulare43574542
Monterey37527259
San Mateo34294340
San Francisco30559293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27041115
Imperial25707510
Merced25575331
Sonoma25141251
Kings20138161
Placer17839188
San Luis Obispo16957158
Madera14000151
Santa Cruz13009135
Marin12024165
Yolo11210138
Shasta10054129
Butte9820136
El Dorado818462
Sutter806983
Napa800548
Lassen526916
San Benito522351
Yuba517630
Tehama446846
Tuolumne347740
Nevada335574
Mendocino329336
Amador306733
Lake272432
Humboldt262427
Glenn202622
Colusa18719
Calaveras170423
Siskiyou149913
Mono11454
Inyo105129
Del Norte8742
Plumas6135
Modoc3903
Mariposa3555
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine730
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