MARQUETTE, MICH. (WJMN) — Michigan’s flavored vape ban stops sales this week, and we found out how this will affect local businesses and their customers.
Michigan banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in early September after hundreds of people reported having serious breathing issues from using vape devices.
Eric Curtis, Owner of Rustic Vapor says, ” It bans all flavored nicotine vapor products, and what that means is flavored pods, flavored cigalites, the cigarette devices you buy at a gas station, and for me, it bans favored E liquids. ”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services gave retailers, including online sellers, a 30-day grace period to sell their flavored products.
The ban will also include menthol and mint-flavored products.
” I’m an adult, I work, I pay my taxes, I think I should have the choice to put these flavors into my body, as long as it means I’m not smoking, ” says Tyler Kemp, manager at Rustic Vapor.
Rustic Vapor, which has stores throughout the Upper Peninsula says they have seen a huge decrease in business.
” Sales have been down across the board for the last two or three weeks. I have three stores Marquette, Escanaba, and Ishpeming, some stores are different. But I would say the average is 40% in lost sales due to this ban, ” continues Curtis.
Violating the rules of the ban could result in a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in prison or a fine of up to $200 or both.
Banning vapes will affect a lot of people.
” It’s going to limit my choices extremely like I personally prefer fruits, candies, cream, now I’m just gonna be limited to just unflavored and tobacco, which not a whole lot of options in that realm, ” continues Kemp.
This ban is only effective for six months, from there it can be renewed for another six months, and then it has to be voted on.
Other stores we spoke with told us they are selling all their flavored tobacco and whatever is leftover they will dispose of.