After Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement banning flavored vaping products, vape store owners are preparing for the future.
For many, that means shutting down their shops and leaving their workers without jobs.
Ian Hughes is an employee of The Vape Shop in Hazel Park.
“It definitely felt like it came out of left field.”
He helped the store open three years ago and works here full time. Ian not only sells e-cigarettes, but he’s been vaping for eight years.
“It’s been a real big part of my life and what’s help me get off of cigarettes.”
With news of the temporary ban on flavored vaping products, the owner of the shop told him they will likely close, even if the ban only lasts for six months. Most of their products are flavored vapes. Only one item is flavorless.
The store’s owner told Ian they can’t survived just selling that.
He explained, “It definitely makes me a little nervous to think about that.”
Ian says he’s spent a lot of time learning about the vaping industry and getting to know his customers.
“Now, that I’m going back to a job where maybe I’m not going to enjoy it and I just have to do it.”
What’s worse is not getting a paycheck at all.
“There’s not a whole lot of places with help wanted signs out front anymore.”
Ian has been making calls and emailing lawmakers and he’s encouraging others to do so, to try and stop this ban.
“We want to be able to make sure our voices are heard.”
Ian tells us a grassroots organization will be protesting at the state capital on September 27. He will be there and he’s now spending the next few weeks getting the word out to join him.