ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As one of America’s biggest e-cigarette companies takes on the Food and Drug Administration to keep their products from being banned, local vape shops and medical experts differ on how this would keep nicotine out of the hands of minors and get people off cigarettes.
The FDA accused Juul of lacking sufficient evidence to show its products protect public health. As the ban awaits a ruling by the U.S Court of Appeals, local vape shops are concerned that targeting the tobacco industry can get in the way of them running their shops in a safe environment.
In their marketing denial order, the FDA believes Juul submitted conflicting data to show their products had no harmful chemicals in their E-Liquid pods, which may contribute to the rise in youth vaping.
Andrew Sheldon, the owner of Puff Palace vape shop, explained these various flavors are intended for adults to help quit cigarettes.
“I think adults looking to quit smoking benefit from having flavors to choose from besides tobacco,” Sheldon said. “I think everyone should be doing what they’re supposed to be doing and not selling to minors.”
Despite calling for a ban, the FDA stated they have not received any clinical information that Juul devices pose an immediate hazard, but doctors with Rochester Regional Health are concerned the side effects of its usage can be deadly.
“Having breathing issues all the way to infection,” Dr. Susan Jackson said. “With pneumonia and we have actually had patients who lost their lives due to side effects from e-cigarettes.”
With regulations against Big Tobacco constantly changing, local vape shops argue they can’t keep up, forcing many to close where sales are strictly regulated to sell authorized products to adults only, pushing sales onto the streets where minors get a hold of them.
“They put a 20% tax on the liquids, there have been different flavor bans,” Sheldon said. “It’s chaos and people realized it’s time to get out. This isn’t to say it’s most convenient stores but there are some out there where they don’t I.D.”
While Andrew is not a big fan of what Juul offers or carries a lot of it in his inventory, he has noticed more cigarette smokers benefit from switching to vape products than using less nicotine over longer periods of time.
“Start with the nicotine they need to start with then go down where there’s lots of control over nicotine content,” Sheldon added. “Because a lot of people are looking to transition off the nicotine.”
Local vape shops like Puff Palace add within legit e-cigarette shops customers can work one on one with staff to know exactly what they’re looking for without overdoing the nicotine level. The U.S Court of Appeals could make a ruling on this decision to permanently ban Juul products as early as July 12.