No More E-Liquid Sampling in Vape Shops
One of the biggest advantages to visiting local vape shops is the opportunity to test e-liquids and find a flavor you like before making a purchase. But ecig users in Pooler, Georgia are no longer allowed to sample flavors according to a ruling by the City Council on Monday. After public vaping was banned effective January 1, 2015, vape shops asked for an exemption since a large portion of their business was dependent on flavor sampling. Unfortunately, the City Council refused to bend the rules even if it caused local businesses to have to close the doors.
Andrew Craft, co-owner of Vapor Trails, said the ruling is disastrous. “We need to be able to vape in our store,” he explained. “People come to our store because they enjoy vaping, and they want to try it out in our store. It’s like if you go to a shoe store and expect to be able to try on shoes.”
The new rules are also hurting other businesses where vapers previously liked to congregate. The Mediterranean Tavern, a popular hookah lounge, are now forced to send vapers outside and they must stand at least ten feet away from any entrance. They are essentially being treated just like smokers and it’s a step backwards for smoking cessation.
Over at Blackbeard Vapor, owner Ben Chapman said his shop is already struggling in Pooler and the new rules could actually force them to shut down permanently. “I really don’t know what I’m going to do now,” he said. “They’ve hurt my sales. This is bad for smoking cessation. I’m heartbroken.”
Should cities with public vaping bans make an exception for ecig shops and vaping lounges? Is this ultimately going to hurt local businesses and prevent some smokers from making the leap to ecigs?