TOWN OF CHENANGO – Retailers of flavored vape products are once again on standby, waiting to see if they’ll be able to continue to sell the nicotine products in New York past tomorrow.
That includes Vapor King, a local e-cigarette chain with 5 locations in Broome County including Upper Front Street in the Town of Chenango.
Tomorrow, a court will reconvene to hear arguments in a case in which an organization representing independent vaping retailers is challenging Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban flavored vapes.
Two weeks ago, the court issued an injunction blocking implementation of the ban which was supposed to take place the following day.
Since the ban was first announced, Vapor King has been selling its flavored products at a 20% discount.
Co-Founder Johnny Burns says he knows of many customers who have been able to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes.
“People who smoke cigarettes who say, ‘I’ve smoked for maybe 30 years or 40 years and nothing worked. But finally I get this product and i was able to quit smoking.’ Some of them come in in tears, call us in tears and to talk on the phone with these people about how amazing the product is an how grateful they are is truly incredible,” says Burns.
Burns says that if the ban does go into effect, it will seriously impact his business.
He says he’ll likely stop his expansion in New York and instead look to open stores just over the border in Pennsylvania where flavored vapes would remain legal.
Burns says he believes the serious lung ailments reported across the country are the result of black market THC vaping and not floavored nicotine.
And he says one way to cut down on vaping by minors would be to restrict their sale to smoke shops and vape stores that don’t allow underaged people to enter.