Proposed ban on flavorings in E-Cigarettes could impact Tri-Cities business

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced his administration would propose a ban on flavorings used in e-cigarettes

“A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it’s great…It’s really not wonderful,” Trump said.

Previous story: Trump to propose ban on flavorings used in e-cigarettes

This comes after state and federal health officials are investigating hundreds of lung disease illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says, “An entire generation of children risk become addicted to nicotine because of the attractiveness, appeal-ability and availability of these vaping products.”

The CDC even released a statement tonight saying in part “…This is an important step in response to the epidemic of e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth.”It goes on to say, “We must do everything we can to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students.

David Nelson owns Rocky Top Vapor- which has several Tri-Cities locations. Nelson says most of his product is flavored e-liquids.

“In our business, 95 percent of what we sell is flavored products to adults,” says Nelson.

“It would almost certainly force us to go out of business without the availability of product,” said Nelson.

Most of his customers are between 35 and 55 years old and have turned to vaping to quit smoking cigarettes.

“You’re basically telling the 10 million people that vape and got off of smoking that they’re not important,” said Nelson.

Jonathon Wendel vapes for that very reason.

“It actually does help a lot of people actually migrate away from regular cigarettes and other tobacco products like that,” says Wendel.

Nelson says that the positives that have come from his business are being ignored.

“That’s pretty sad that its hurting small businesses, mom and pop shops, that found a product that helps people and now they’re going to be forced out,” said Nelson.

Nelson is a part of several advocacy groups and legislation for e-cigarette use. He was already planning a trip to the nation’s capital next week with the Vapor Technology Association.

He says this potential ban will shift the conversations on the trip.

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