Local vape businesses react to proposed flavored e-cigarette ban

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Many vape related businesses across the stateline sell flavored electronic cigarettes. But now a proposal by the Trump administration is looking to ban them.

As the FDA moves forward to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, businesses in the Rockford area say their future is uncertain.
“We don’t know exactly if we would be able to survive off that. Obviously, we do sell other products but we’re not sure if that will sustain our business or not,” said the owner of Vape N Juice Jeremy Petrocelli.
“I personally have about 16 employees including myself, and it is very possible that we would close and they would all lose their jobs,” said owner of Marco’s Vapor Marco Altamore.
The proposed ban comes from the Trump administration as they continue to combat the vaping epidemic. The ban would eliminated flavored e-cigarette products from the market.
However according to the owner of Marco’s Vapor, 95 percent of his adult customers purchase flavors.
“If it goes through as an outright flavor ban and we can only sell tobacco flavors it will definitely negatively effect our business and every vape shop and vape related business in the U.S.,” said Altamore.
Altamore says a ban like this would cost more than 100 thousand people their jobs across the United States. He believes flavored products steer customers from smoking cigarettes all together.
“A lot of my customers have reached out to me so far and a lot of them and told me straight up that if flavors are banned than they will go back to cigarettes,” said Altamore.
Altamore says the last thing his business wants to do is turn people back to cigarettes. And he isn’t the only one.
“We’ve always had a high responsibility and a high regard for helping people quit smoking,” said Petrocelli.
Both business owners are involved with an advocacy group called Smoke Free Alternative Coalition of Illinois and are planning a trip to Washington next week to fight for vaping rights in Illinois.
But with numerous vaping deaths reported across the county, many argue vaping is just as serious as smoking cigarettes.
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