Igor Stepczynski | Broadcast Reporter
The time is ticking for electronic cigarette users and their favorite flavored pods. The Food and Drug Administration has passed a ban on all pre-filled flavored nicotine pods, with the exception of tobacco and menthol. Some major companies, like Juul, saw it coming and banned their mango and cucumber flavors months ago. The federal ban comes into effect Feb. 1.
Smoke shops are offering huge discounts to customers in order to clear their stock before inspections of their stores. The owner of Waco’s Bosque Smoke and Vapor shop has some pods marked down by 50%.
“We have to clear all the flavored pods before February 1st,” he said, “we have a big quantity so we kept a big clearance.”
When asked what he is going to due with unsold stock at the end of the months, the owner replied, “trash it or send it back to the manufacturer.”
The owner does not think this new legislation will hurt his business. The ban does not apply to disposable flavored nicotine devices or bottled flavored e-liquids. According to the owner, pre-filled nicotine pods were majorly used by customers looking to get their fix of nicotine anywhere with discretion.
“Major vapors usually go for the regular juices rather than the Juul pods and all because it’s cheaper to get. The people who are vaping to eventually quit nicotine use bottled e-liquids and bigger vaping devices.”
This new law, in combination with the Texas tobacco age raised to 21 years, is attempting to combat underage electronic cigarette users and the health risks associated with such that gained mainstream media attention in the past few months. However, the owner reiterates alternatives will still be sold and accessible in all flavors.
He says the culprit isn’t smoke shops themselves. “Every store follows the law. The kids who are getting it, they are getting it online. So if they wanted to ban it, they have to restrict it online.” he says. “That would be the right precaution matter.”