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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.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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