Vaping and convenience store owners voice opposition to flavor ban proposal

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Lawmakers will be back at work for veto session on Monday. One of the first things they plan to look into are proposals to ban flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco products.

Several Republicans, Democrats and the governor have all voiced support behind the idea.

Owners of vaping stores from around the state came to the capitol to remind lawmakers of the devastating impact a ban would have on their business. Managers said if a flavor e-cig ban passes, they will not be able to sell more than 90 percent of the items in their stores.
While convenience stores would not be hit as hard, because they have other items to sell, leaders in their industry say a ban is not the answer to keep the products away from children.

“People are talking about flavors you know like bubble gum and things like that that appeal to kids. I think there is some definite room for regulation there,” said Josh Sharp of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and Illinois Association of Convenience Stores. “To me that is a very sensible approach, but just to pursue an outright ban on these products especially when all of our neighboring states have them, to us, is short-sided and again, would just recreate a black market.”

Gas stations and convenience stores have been a target of many vaping advocates. Some feel the gas stations are where many underage people are getting these products from. Sharp said he has not heard of any purchases from children happening at any of the association’s stores but he believes kids are getting the products from the black market.

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