Vape stores are fuming mad after the FDA passed new regulations last month. The Administration wants all smokeless cigarette products produced since 2008 to undergo testing and approval. News 5 talked to stores around Mobile, and one owner says the change put all shops out of business.
“We had good jobs, and we kind of put it all on the line to open up shop,” Cordell Harris.
Harris tells us it’s been nearly two years since he risked almost everything to open up his first vape store.
“They just keep coming back and over a period of time, those number just grew and grew,” said Harris.
And, just three weeks ago he opened up his third, near Airport Blvd. in Mobile.
“There’s definitely a lot more people switching over.”
Vaping’s increased popularity has helped many others open up.
“I would say 99 percent of my customers, smoked, or dipped, or used some other form of tobacco before.”
In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says e-cigarette use is up 12 percent in adults. And even though vaporizers don’ t have tobacco, the FDA is concerned over the nicotine and its use. It’s a sentiment, Virginia Guy with the Drug Education Council echoes.
“Well one of the biggest problems is with the e-cigarette is we’re really not sure, what exactly is in the liquid,” said Virginia Guy with the Drug Education Council.
There’s also the concern of how children view vaporizers.
“But we’re really concerned about the access to children.”
Harris says he doesn’t sell to anyone under 19, which is a city law. And he says stores self-regulate to choose quality products.
“If they do take effect the way they were initially worded it will probably put myself out of business, I can’t imagine that any other local shops in this area would be able to survive,” said Harris.
The new FDA rules would require much more testing costing millions, and possibly wiping out some manufacturers.
“We do have lobbyists, and we’re doing the best that we can but by no means, we don’t have the money to compete with big tobacco.”
The regulations are planned to take effect August 8.