Local vape shops grow concerned about vaping epidemic

With vape-related illnesses continuing to rise, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker placed a state-wide ban on the sales of vaping products. With Massachusetts becoming the first state to do so, will Mississippi soon follow?

‘No Smoke About it, Just Vape’ Regional Manager Chris Dixon said, “It’s more making people trying to quit cigarettes more scared that vaping is going to be more harmful to them.”

As the backlash against vaping continues to intensify, Dixon worries about the future of the vaping business. “We get about 20 to 30 percent of new customers every day and with them being scared to come into a vape shop, it’s hurting us.”

While lawmakers continue to speak out against vaping, Dixon explains that there are many misconceptions about the use of e-cigarettes, like the targeting of minors. “We card them immediately when they walk through the door. If you’re under 18, you don’t need to be smoking or vaping. You shouldn’t start vaping if you’re just looking for a fun hobby. This is for people who are trying to quit cigarettes, looking for an alternative that is better in the long run.”

Nine deaths and 530 cases of lung-related illnesses in the United States have been attributed to vaping. While e-cigarettes have been placed under a microscope, the FDA has shifted focus to vape products using THC and Juul products, which seems to target younger age groups. “If they’re a good vape shop, they’re not going to sell Juul products because those products are just crippling people’s nicotine dependency.”

With other states banning vape products, local vape shops have grown concerned about what could happen to them if Mississippi imposed a similar ban. “I mean, this is people’s livelihood that is being messed with. This is business.”

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