Local Businesses To Be Impacted By E-Cigarette Ban

Woman smokes e-cigarette
Woman vaping. Image by Vaping360 via Creative Commons.

FULTON – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today, Wednesday Sept. 18, there is a ban on the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids in New York state, which will directly impact three businesses in Fulton.

There are three businesses in the City of Fulton that mostly sell these products: Vape Kult on West Broadway, Universal Vaping on South First Street, and Unique E-Cigs on North Second Street.

Richard Dechick, owner of Vape Kult, strongly opposes this ban for multiple reasons. His business, which opened in 2014, has locations in Fulton, Auburn, Clyde and Cortland, and revolves around the now banned products. He has eight employees for these shops.

“I’m now put in a position where I’m trying to explain this to my employees, explain this to the public. He dumped that on me,” Dechick said. “If you were me and you had to tell your employees, ‘Oh, well there’s a possibility you’re not going to have a job,’ that alone destroys the business.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating an outbreak of lung disease associated with vaping, including e-liquids containing nicotine, THC and CBD. As of today, the CDC reported at least 380 cases of lung illness reported from 36 states and 1 U.S. territory. A seventh death was confirmed Monday.

“We do not yet know the specific cause of these illnesses. The investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is linked to all cases,” according to the CDC.

Dechick said the recent deaths across the U.S. had more to do with THC cartridges than regular nicotine vaping products. 

“And now he wants to ban e-liquids. The two don’t go together. He used his abuse of power to go after e-liquids when e-liquids has nothing to do with it,” Dechick said. “That’s the problem – unregulated [THC] cartridges. It’s going to make a black market for e-liquid and you’re going to have people dying from that.”

The largest reason for Cuomo’s ban is due to marketing to minors. 

“It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes – it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” Cuomo said in a press release.

Dechick disagrees.

“It’s got nothing to do with the kids,” Dechick said. “The kids are going to be okay. Nobody sells to kids.”

There is an age requirement for people visiting Vape Kult’s website to be 18 or over and it is illegal to sell these products to people under 18.

Dechick said with the ban of e-cigarettes, people will go back to smoking cigarettes. He said he does not understand why tobacco has not been banned because it is proven to kill people every day. According to the CDC, about 1,300 people in the U.S. die every day due to cigarette smoking.

There is a two week grace period before the ban is enforced on retailers, beginning Oct. 7. After that there can be fines up to $2,000, “which is defined as each unit of flavored e-liquid or product containing e-liquid that is possessed, manufactured, sold or offered for sale.” Dechick said there is nothing he can do to prepare for this except hope there will be enough backlash to change it.

Dechick said the root of the problem is Cuomo’s “abuse of power.” He said there should have been a vote regarding the ban rather than an executive order without warning. 

“Who is he to make that judgement call? We don’t live in a dictatorship. Five deaths from something that’s not even relevant to what he’s banning, it’s … insane,” Dechick said.

7 Comments

  1. I do feel for persons losing their jobs, however, there is not enough known about these devices. The CDC dropped the ball in doing more research on these products before they were allowed on the market, before business owners invested their time and money into something that was believed to be safe. Having trained at one time in the respiratory therapy field, the only healthy thing for our lungs is air in and carbon dioxide out. Propylene glycol, heated vapors, added flavors, nicotine do not belong in a lung; young or old. Give the CDC a chance now to do what they should have to begin with.

  2. Nobody sells to kids? … I doubt that is true … and even if they don’t, kids ate getting a hold of it somehow … kids get a hold of cigarettes and alcohol also … I believe vaping and smoking can and do do damage to the lungs …

  3. Has anyone ever consider that it is nicotine poising.these kids just thought it’d cool to smoke when they have never smoke before or very little. On the average one Juul pen has 400 puffs at a 5mg of nicotine that would equal about 20 cigarettes. Again kids that have not smoked before. Are overdoseing. They are not just puffing 2 or 3 time the putting it away. They are smoking till it gone within a short period of time.

  4. Thanks to our Governor putting a stop to this quickly growing death epidemic.This shop owner is capitalizing on a shady, filthy addiction that does indeed, hurt our young people,
    How to tell your employees they are out of a job? Ha! How about ,how to tell a mom her 15 year old is on a death bed! Find a new gimmick to peddle.
    This is one firm call that Coumo wins, hands down.

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