NORWOOD, Mass. — After all the recent concerns surrounding vaping and Norwood's vote to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a local shop had to shut its doors on Wednesday.
Vape Daddy's opened only four years ago and made most of its sales from e-liquids. But with the ban it was forced to close its doors, owner David Bershad said.
He thinks that the bans are premature and will hurt responsible adults and business owners like himself.
"Adults just want to get off of cigarettes," he said.
"…they believe that kids are attracted to vaporizers because of flavors and we say you know there are a hundred flavors of vodkas, but you have to be 21 to drink," he continued.
E-cigarettes were once seen as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes and has become very popular among teens. Pediatrician Dr. Lester Hartman said it's the No. 1 public health problem in teenagers and young adults in the country.
There have been 10 reported cases of severe lung disease in Massachusetts. On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health issued a mandate requiring health care providers report all possible vaping-related incidents to the state immediately.
Nationwide, President Trump said yesterday that his administration is working to ban flavored e-cigarettes on a federal level as the CDC investigates 450 cases of lung disease and six deaths of people who said they used e-cigarettes.
It's unclear what type of liquid they were using in their devices and some people who were sick said they were vaping THC products.
Marco Picariello said he smoked cigarettes for 22 years before switching to vaping.
"I used to smell awful and now it's just not as bothersome to people," Picariello said.
But he doesn't like the taste of tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, which is all that would be left after banning flavors.
"I really don't want to go back to smoking cigarettes, but I don't see the options," Picariello said.
Bershad said his three other store locations will stay open for now, but his Norwood store will be replaced by a different smoke shop.
The FDA is finalizing its guidance to remove all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol from the market within 30 days. Companies would have to submit a formal request to the FDA for approval to re-introduce flavors.