PORTLAND, Ore. — Starting today, you won't see flavored vaping products on store shelves in Oregon. That’s because the six-month temporary ban begins today.
It covers both flavored nicotine and THC vape products, and you can bet, people have been stocking up.
On Monday night, the clock was ticking as people made one last run to buy the stuff they need to vape.
At KC Smoke & Vape in Gresham, it was busy.
“A lot of people have been coming in and buying as much as they can. They're not going to stop vaping just because there's this flavor ban,” said Patrick Mitchell, manager at KC Smoke & Vape.
He said some people have bought $300-$500 worth of stuff to make sure they have enough supply to get through the six-month ban.
Rico Conde was one of the shoppers who showed up Monday night to stock up. He said vaping has helped him quit smoking.
“You have people like me and everybody here who's trying to stock up because it's something that helps them cope, helps them get through day by day,” Conde said.
“It’s frustrating because there’s worse things out there,” he added, referring to cigarettes.
As for the shop, Mitchell said it’ll be taking a huge hit with the ban in place. Vape-related sales make up about 60% of their business.
“We’re going to be losing a lot of money,” said Mitchell.
But he’s counting his shop lucky because there are a variety of products sold at the store. Other shops only specialize in vaping.
“How many people is that going to put out of business, how many stores and employees are going to be without a job,” Mitchell said.
Store owners who violate the ban will get a warning first. After that, they'll face fines of up to $500 each day.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is in charge of enforcement and will do random checks starting Tuesday.
The ban is temporary, but there may be an effort to make it permanent in the next legislative session.
In Washington, the temporary ban goes until February. There are efforts there to also make the ban permanent.