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New York Vapers Rally Against Flavor Ban

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Buffalo, NY, was the place to be for vapers and vape industry businesses in the state earlier this month. The Buffalo News reports that about 125 people showed up to a rally in the city’s downtown Lower Terrace and Church Streets area in opposition of the proposed flavor ban and tax raises in New York State.

Victor Canastraro, owner of vaping stores in New York-based cities of Buffalo, Depew, Batavia and Rochester, told Buffalo News that studies have shown vaping is much safer than smoking cigarettes and that “most of the people who vape are people who began vaping as an alternative to smoking.” About 3 million people reportedly vape in the state, and 873 vaping stores are housed there, amounting to about 3,000 employees thanks to the industry. Canastraro said that he believes the proposed laws would destroy the industry in New York.

Brian Ellis, vice president of Yeti Vape stores, echoed the sentiment to "Stopping flavored vape will actually go ahead and limit the availability of product to consenting adults. So, ultimately, by taking that product away, you're now taking 92 percent of the product that we would have away from consenting adults to use the product. We’re in agreement. We don’t want teenager starting either.”

"Personally, I switched from combustible cigarettes to flavors ... they tasted better," Ken Gregory, co-owner of Bad Drip Labs, which manufactures vaping products, told My Twin Tiers. "It seemed more appetizing for me to use. It's more enjoyable and ultimately, the studies are showing that it's no more than 5 percent of the long-term health effects so that's what got me to switch from combustible cigarettes personally."

Protesters were resolute that without flavored vapes or vaping in general, teens — and adults — could head back to cigarettes.

"They would smoke cigarettes," Gregory told My Twin Tiers. "That's what teens would be doing. That's what it comes down to. This industry is not about getting kids using this product. If you don't vape, you do not use e-cigarettes, you shouldn't be vaping, you shouldn't be using nicotine. This a smoking cessation method."

The New York Senate Health Committee has approved the flavor ban, which is now with the State Senate as of the release of this blog.