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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: 207106

Reported Deaths: 2757
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40396614
Washington26812249
Marion23444323
Clackamas18953235
Lane13924164
Jackson11549146
Deschutes1002782
Umatilla860987
Linn562281
Yamhill478679
Klamath477878
Polk400556
Douglas389583
Malheur362063
Josephine361772
Benton326922
Jefferson237139
Coos216737
Columbia192329
Union150124
Wasco144530
Lincoln143421
Crook129223
Hood River121733
Morrow115516
Clatsop10609
Baker102315
Curry72011
Tillamook6604
Grant5517
Lake4688
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3810808

Reported Deaths: 63373
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124790924459
Riverside3017994627
San Bernardino2993204850
San Diego2818863771
Orange2731055113
Santa Clara1201922190
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078721737
Fresno1029711724
Alameda897561277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70770813
Stanislaus635351070
Tulare49802849
Monterey43842432
San Mateo42685581
San Francisco37275556
Santa Barbara34621455
Solano33762266
Merced32315479
Sonoma30957317
Imperial28855741
Placer23604300
Kings23202247
San Luis Obispo21448261
Madera16647245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14208230
Yolo14165212
Butte12668195
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10401116
Napa1002880
Sutter9666113
Yuba651251
San Benito610963
Lassen579925
Tehama573563
Nevada493175
Humboldt450849
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421671
Amador374247
Lake356345
Glenn243327
Siskiyou239837
Colusa228818
Calaveras220856
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12984
Plumas7376
Modoc5635
Mariposa4657
Trinity4236
Sierra1170
Alpine890
Unassigned320
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