Local vape store owner calls Trump’s plan to ban e-cigarette flavors a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction

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RAYTOWN, Mo. — President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to ban all e-cigarette flavors isn’t sitting well with some local vape store owners.

“I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” said Gerard Donovan, owner of the Vapor House.

On Wednesday, Trump announced a plan to ban the sales of most flavored e-cigarettes at a time when hundreds of people have been sickened by mystery lung illnesses and teen vaping continues to rise.

Donovan said the recent illnesses are due in most part to the ingredients people are ingesting, most he said are not legal.

“What’s driving the black market demand? Let’s just face it, it’s cannabis and THC and people wanting to get high,” Donovan said.

He said there are plenty of places that sell regulated and tested e-cigarette flavors. His store is one of them. He said it’s unfair that the President’s plan unfairly targets his business and others.

"They're lumping in the whole vapor industry because these folks are using a vapor-style cartridge to ingest this THC," he said.

Donovan said it’s not tough for someone to find a way to make homemade flavors and juices, and then sell it on the black market, without any type of testing by a third-party lab for safety.

“The regular person who’s not a chemist, who has not been well-versed in industrial hygiene or other chemical components of the other vapor products or the cannabis products, isn’t going to be able to manufacture a safe cartridge," he said.

Instead, he suggested regulators do a better job of listing ingredients that can be used.

He worries that if the President’s plan does move forward, more lives could be in danger -- and his business could go up in smoke.

“It's going to lead to a huge black market of vapor juice, and when people start making vapor juice that they think is super safe, you're going to run into such a problem like we are now, that's greatly exploded."

"A flavor ban on all flavors could potentially close all of our stores.”

The CDC confirmed that investigators narrowed their focus and that the additive vitamin E acetate is a chemical involved in many of the cases, but officials emphasized it is not in all of the cases being reviewed.

 

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