DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Many health officials say they support the Trump Administration’s proposal to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, but some businesses say their sales could take a hit.
Wednesday’s announcement from the Trump Administration comes after six people have died and hundreds have been hospitalized nationwide for a respiratory illness that could be linked to vaping.
“People are dying with vaping, so we are looking at it very closely,” President Trump said Wednesday.
The Trump Administration’s proposal comes days after Michigan became the first state enact such a law.
Of the more than 450 people hospitalized nationwide for possible respiratory illness linked to vaping, at least 10 cases are in Ohio, according to state officials.
At Smokers Plus in Dayton, owner Rabi Ahmed told 2 NEWS 60 to 70 percent of his business comes from e-cigarette sales. Flavored products make up most of those purchases, he said.
“Nobody [uses] the tobacco and menthol flavors,” Ahmed said. “Everybody needs fruity flavors.”
Ahmed told 2 NEWS he’s not against the potential ban, but he is concerned. He also vapes and worries those who do might go back to smoking cigarettes if the flavor ban takes effect, a concern also raised by the American Vaping Association.
His business should be able to stay afloat, he said, but others may not.
“Still we have a lot of other things,” Ahmed said. “We’re going to stay here. But of course, if somebody’s running an only e-cigarette business, that’s their business.”
“Kids who vape are seven times more likely to smoke a tobacco product,” said Emma Smales, lead public information officer for the Clark County Combined Health District.
Smales said she believes the ban would be an effective way to stop teens and young adults from vaping in the first place.
“It’s important to remember that the FDA banned flavored tobacco products almost a decade ago because we know that they attract kids and teens to them,” she said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to release new policy on e-cigarettes and a flavored products ban in the coming weeks.