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."