FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – If the Trump Administration goes through with a ban on all flavored vaping products, a Fort Lauderdale vape shop owner believes his business would go up in smoke.
President Donald Trump wants to crack down on the growing use of vaping by children and adolescents.
“We’re getting some stories we don’t want to hear and we may have to do something very, very strong about it,” the president said.
Experts say it’s the flavored products that are enticing young people, and the data backs up those claims.
The numbers show that more than 25 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, and, in 2018, 68 percent reported using flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy.
“Kids are getting access to this products,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “We have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace.”
Discussion of a possible ban comes as the CDC investigates more than 450 cases of vaping-related illnesses and at least six deaths reported in recent weeks. However, reports reveal that it’s possible some of those people used cannabis-related items.
Chris Dofort owns Vapor Life Fort Lauderdale. He said flavored e-cigarettes — which are made in FDA certified labs — make up 95 percent of his growing business. There are signs at his store saying they won’t sell to minors. He believes the handful of deaths associated with vaping are being looked at the wrong way.
“The reality is there are no vaping deaths,” Dofort said. “There are illicit drug deaths. But to say there are vaping deaths and blame a regulated industry, it’s gonna destroy jobs.”
He said a ban would “shut us down.”
But some medical professionals are putting up warning signs.
“It appears that some of the chemicals that have been used in the e-cigarette have caused a dangerous reaction in the lungs,” said Dr. Glenn Singer, a pulmonologist at Broward Health Medical Center.
The government says they would not remove tobacco flavor e-cigarette products which are aimed at getting smokers to stop smoking. But Chris Dofort says most of his customers favor the flavored products.
“If this ban goes through, perfect law-abiding citizens will not be able to get something they need in their everyday life to quit smoking,” Dofort said.
The vaping industry is comparing a proposed ban on these products to the prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century.
Reports say the Trump Administration says a ban could go into effect in the coming weeks or months and flavored products would likely be off the market until they get FDA approval.