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Vaping Companies Brace For FDA Attempt To Curb Sales To Minors

Nam Y. Huh
The Food and Drug Administration announced a set of major new enforcement actions Wednesday aimed at reducing the sales and marketing of electronic cigarettes to teenagers.

A Bloomington vaping store owner is concerned the federal government's efforts to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to minors is just the latest step in taking them off the market altogether.

“What do you do, take it away for all adults because some kids are getting it?” Vape One owner Kevin Doerr asked. “You can say the same thing about alcohol.”

Doerr said he doesn’t want to see any e-cigarette ban, but he said if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans only the top sellers that the agency says are being targeted to minors, that could open a new market for his store.

“If they go out and they ban all those flavors and basically remove them from the shelves, people can come in here and buy what I got,” Doerr said.

Doerr said his store doesn't sell to minors and only sells e-cigarettes that are lower in nicotine, unlike the e-cigarettes that have been caught in the FDA’s crosshairs. He considers his products a safer alternative to cigarettes, adding that he started vaping seven to eight years ago and that helped him quit smoking.  

Doerr said he’s concerned the precedent the FDA could set if it removes some e-cigarettes from the shelves.

“Once they start banning stuff, it’s just one thing then the next, then the next,” Doerr said.

The FDA gave five major e-cigarette makers 60 days to curtail the sale of their product to minors or risk having their products taken off the market.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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