ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “It’s unbelievable,” says Ken Gregory on New York’s liquid e-cigarette ban. Gregory is the Vice President of Operations for Bad Drip Labs, that factory directly supplying 16 vape stores in the region.
He says they’re not waiting for the 90-day temporary state ban to end, if it ever does. “The company will survive, but we will not have the opportunity to continue to provide these jobs in New York,” he says.
They’re moving to North Carolina. Outside of closing the factory and the 100 jobs on the line, one of Gregory’s major concerns is the recovering smokers who use vaping to quit.
“It’s a disaster for consumers in New York State who use this as a life-saving product to stop smoking cigarettes. Quitting cigarettes is one of the hardest things a person can do.”
In a study, the American Lung Association says that e-cigarettes, “are not safe”, but the American Cancer Society says they are, “significantly less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes.” Like Gregory, some researchers are worried ex-smokers who can’t vape will go right back to smoking.
The Center for Disease Control put out a study saying as of Thursday, 530 cases of lung injury associated with vaping products have been reported in 38 states, with seven confirmed deaths. The specific cause is still not determined.
As for the deaths and health problems linked to vaping, Gregory says he knows what it is, and it’s not found behind the counter. “(It’s the) black market THC cartridges that contain Vitamin E.” Something the New York State Vapor Association has also said.
With the ban, Gregory adds vaping in-state will go underground and unregulated, the resulting home-made products now with the potential of being lethal. “I think you’re going to see people at risk of dying,” he says.
Bad Drip Labs has an international presence. Some of the 16 stores locally might expand with CBD products to stay open, it is still a situation Gregory and his team are weighing.