PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s ban on flavored vape products takes effect Tuesday. This comes after hundreds of illnesses and deaths were reported throughout the country—2 of those deaths happened in Oregon.
In the days leading up to the ban, a number of vape shops in the Portland area had huge sales to make as much money as they could before they closed their doors Monday night. Still, both customers and shop owners say it’s not enough.
“This is definitely my busiest weekend I have ever been open,” said Marcus Nettles, owner of Rose City Vapors.
While business did pick up in the final hours, Nettles said 80% of his business was in flavored vaping products.
“It’s so bitter-sweet because it’s like, it’s nice to have sales, but then to realize after tomorrow, whatever my sale are, they are going to completely fall off,” he said.
Some customers are even traveled in from Washington, where a ban was already in place. On Monday, shoppers stocked up on flavored vape cartridges while they still could.
“Getting as much as I can, and afford, that’s what I’ve been trying to do,” said Makayla Sether, who uses flavored vape products. “I’ve been vaping for 5 years and it hasn’t had any medical impacts or issues.”
But for those who used vaping as a method to stop smoking, that ban has another implication.
“The whole ban is kind of blindly shutting people out like me, who know what it is like to struggle with cigarette addiction,” said Molly Bourke, who smoked cigarettes for 15 years. She stocked up on 10 bottles Monday.
“Providing the flavors that don’t taste like the thing that we just got over, you know, makes it a lot easier,” said Bourke. But she fears what might happen if she runs out before the ban is lifted and she can’t quit nicotine altogether.
Nettles plans to meet with the State Vapor Trade Association to find ways to take action and fight the ban. The 6-month ban on flavored vape products is set to expire in April.