JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A nationwide ban on flavored, cartridge-based e-cigarette products formally goes into effect Thursday, February 6th. The ban does not apply to menthol and tobacco-flavored pods, flavored bottles of E-liquid, or flavored disposables.
Big House of Vapors has multiple stories around Northeast Florida, including some in the River City. Inside the shop on Normandy Boulevard, the shelves are lined with products used for vaping.
As store owner Michael Miller showed News4Jax, the opposite wall is lined with something else. On the wall are stories many of his customers have shared showing how they used flavored vaping to get off cigarette.
“‘I quit using funnel cake'” Miller read. “‘I started at 19, smoked 6 years. I quit using tobacco’.”
That’s why Miller says he is against the ban taking effect.
“They’re saying the flavors are taking aims at children. We are going into our 8th year, 8th or 9th year,” Miller said. “We have seen thousands and thousands of people quit smoking.”
The ban comes as federal and local officials have aimed to crack down on teen vaping.
In January, Jacksonville city leaders announced they had teamed up with Daily’s Place to put forward $200,000. One of the main focuses will be geared toward educating teens on vaping dangers. City Councilman Ron Salem was part of the city’s discussion and says it the issue of teen vaping is a growing problem in the River City. Salem says this ban is a great first step.
“I hope it does make a difference,” Salem said. “My concern is kids are going to look for other sources, illicit sources for this… these type of things. That is the concern that I have.”
This ban comes on the heels of the Food and Drug Administration formally raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 years old to 21 years. That includes traditional cigarettes and cigars.
Miller told me doesn’t think a ban on these particular products will impact his business much, but still believes the options should be there.
“Straight forward, that people are still able to have access to the products to help them quit smoking and make them healthier,” Miller said
News4Jax has reached out to the FDA to learn how a retailer could be punished if its owners and supervisors don’t comply with the ban by Thursday’s deadline. We are still waiting to hear back and will update this article.
Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.