DENVER (CBS4) — Smoke shops are scrambling to sell their remaining fruit flavored e-cigarette cartridges. The Food and Drug Administration will begin enforcing the ban at the end of January.
The ban does not apply to menthol and tobacco-flavored products, varieties less appealing to youth. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports 27 percent of Colorado high school students said that they had vaped in a recent one month period.
“The most popular flavors that were on the market here were raspberry, blueberry, mango. They even have a lot of off brand companies like Z-Pod,” said Jeremy Pierre, a manager at Mile High Pipe and Tobacco.
Pierre showed CBS4 several cartons of the soon-to-be banned flavored cartridges on display. Mile High Pipe and Tobacco only has until the 31st to clear them off the shelves.
“We’re trying to do as many deals as we can to get rid of as much product as we can. People are stocking up,” said Pierre. “They’ll come inspect in a few days and there’s a fine if there’s any left in the store.”
Vape shops are still able to sell flavors for tank-based systems. The ban also does not address single-use disposable vapes, even though they come in fruit flavors.
Pierre can’t say for certain how much money the business will lose if they’re unable to sell all of the FDA-banned products, but it’s better than the fine that’ll come if it’s still on the shelf in February.
“With buy one get one free and buy one get one half off, we’re already losing money right now,” said Pierre.
The FDA said its open to authorizing flavored cartridge sales in the future, if the company can show its product isn’t attractive to children or people who do not already smoke.