WADSWORTH, Ohio — E-cigarette business owners are working to clear the air surrounding vaping after President Trump said Wednesday he would consider a potential ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
Bill and Shemara Samaco co-own five e-cigarette stores across Northeast Ohio and said a ban would crush the business they started in 2015.
“More importantly than killing the business, it will kill people because they won’t have access to these products,” said Bill Samaco.
He said the most popular items in his Wadsworth location are fruit flavored products.
Shemara Samaco pointed out several signs posted across the business to illustrate how their store does not sell to teens.
“It’s an adult industry created by adults, for adults to combat an adult problem which is smoking combustible cigarettes,” she said.
There is growing concern nationwide about teens vaping and their attraction to flavored e-cigarettes.
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 380 cases of lung illness related to the use of e-cigarette products. The CDC reports six deaths in Oregon, Minnesota, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, and California.
Corey Kendrick, the policy legislative affairs manager at Summit County Public Health said to his knowledge, they are the first and only local department to urge e-cigarette users to stop immediately. He said there are two probable cases of people falling ill due to vaping in the county.
“We get new information every month about how dangerous these products are the inflammation of the lungs the cancer risk,” said Kendrick.
A Lake County man was recently hospitalized with a lung illness after prolonged vaping including one with THC he bought off the street.
“Everything going on right now has been related to tainted black market THC cartomizers that people are buying off the streets; nothing that you see on any of these shelves has been proven to hurt anybody,” said Bill Samaco.
Although the divide on vaping continues, they said they are trying to help not hurt e-cigarette customers.
“Our intention is to eventually ween people off of this product to get them to switch from smoking combustible cigarettes transitioning to vapor and ultimately not smoking at all,” said Shemara Samaco.