Plano-area vaping stores report loss of business, lack of clarity on future regulation

The vaping industry has reported a loss of business since reports have surfaced of health problems associated with the devices. (Graphic by Chelsea Peters and Kristen Rodriguez/Community Impact Newspaper)
The vaping industry has reported a loss of business since reports have surfaced of health problems associated with the devices. (Graphic by Chelsea Peters and Kristen Rodriguez/Community Impact Newspaper)

The vaping industry has reported a loss of business since reports have surfaced of health problems associated with the devices. (Graphic by Chelsea Peters and Kristen Rodriguez/Community Impact Newspaper)

Local vape shops are feeling the weight from recent reports of vaping-related illness, injury and death.

“We’re really just trying to wait it out,” said David Carr, vice president of operations at Plano’s Vape Dudes.

Roughly 600 businesses across the state sold vapor products in 2018, according to market research conducted by the Texas Vapor Coalition, a vaping advocacy nonprofit. Up to 20% of these shops are no longer open, Executive Director Jay Maguire said.

Carr attributes the loss in sales at his store to misinformation.

“[Vaping has] been has been a thing worldwide for about 10 years, and nobody’s gotten sick anywhere else in the world except for in the United States, randomly, in the summer of 2019,” Carr said. “That speaks to a recently introduced contaminant, not anything inherently wrong with the technology.”


In early November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the majority of lung tissue samples taken from those affected by a vaping-related injury were found to contain evidence of vitamin E acetate, a substance commonly used with black-market THC.

Carr said this supports what vapor shops and advocates have been saying—that the dangers of vaping are related to illegal THC distribution, not nicotine-based vapes.

“We’re hoping that that news will start filtering out to people,” Carr said. “But there’s not a lot that we can do to combat that ourselves.”

There are 13 million former smokers in the U.S. who use vapor products as smoking cessation devices, Maguire said. Restricting access could drive smokers back to cigarettes, he said.

But the research related to vaping-related injuries is still preliminary, health officials say. A broader concern is increased use among teenagers.

In September, the CEO of Walmart announced that the business would discontinue sales of vaping products at stores nationwide. Walgreens and Kroger followed suit a month later.

The American Medical Association adopted a stance Nov. 19 for an immediate ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping devices. The group plans to lobby for this ban to become a law in the future, but the vaping industry is currently focusing on lowering teen usage.In mid-October, JUUL, the largest vaping device manufacturer in the U.S., suspended the sale of flavored pods in an effort to curb use among teenagers.

“We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers,” JUUL Labs CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said in a statement.

While banning flavored e-liquids could lead to a decrease in vaping among the younger crowd, some believe it could also cause an uptick in cigarette usage among adults who rely on flavored pods to remain smoke-free. Banning flavored liquids would also have a large impact on vaping stores, Carr said.

“Every shop would basically close overnight if we couldn’t sell flavored products,” Carr said. “That’s what adults want to use.”

The American Vaping Association has stated it believes lawmakers and the FDA should instead focus on tighter regulation of high-nicotine e-liquids.“If [high nicotine e-liquids were] properly regulated, you could discourage improper usage of the products,” said Greg Conley, president of the association. “You’re never going to be able to eliminate youth experimentation.”

Liesbeth Powers - Elizabeth Ucles - Olivia Lueckemeyer



MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The annual Heights Car Show will look slightly different from years past. (Courtesy David Alvey)
Richardson car show to carry on, part of Keller trail to close: DFW business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from Dallas-Fort Worth here.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

The Weihenstephaner Pils, a hoppy pale lager, is one of the German beers Bavarian Grill serves straight from the tap. (Courtesy Bavarian Grill)
Lewisville school plans, police reform talks and other popular DFW stories from this week

Here are five recent updates from Greater Dallas on restaurants opening and closing, community conversations about policing and more.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines. (Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas restaurants, businesses not required to disclose positive COVID-19 cases

If an employee of a business or restaurant tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines.

Habitat for Humanity of Collin County accepts donations of furniture, appliances, home decor items and more at its Plano ReStore. It then sells these items to fund its nonprofit work. (Courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Collin County)
Dips in volunteers, revenue leads to fewer completed projects for Habitat for Humanity of Collin County

Lower sales and donations meant fewer funds for Habitat’s work. Fears of the virus also meant fewer volunteers were comfortable pitching in on projects.

The draft policy was released a week before the district will require parents to report their interest in the district’s alternative, fully remote learning track. (Courtesy Pexels)
Draft policy: Plano ISD to require masks, take other health measures if students return to campuses in fall

The policies, while subject to change, represent the fullest picture yet of what a return to classrooms could look like if Plano ISD schools are able to reopen in the fall.

Crews will continue their work on two stretches of Coit Road in Plano. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Construction update: Coit Road project in Plano continues, with sights set on two main stretches

Crews are making pavement and sidewalk repairs on two stretches of Coit Road.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

The Frisco Chamber of Commerce will host its State of the City panel discussion online July 14. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco chamber to host State of the City, Crayola Experience reopens in Plano: Business, community news from DFW

Read the latest Community Impact Newspaper coverage of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's July 2 executive order, the University Interscholastic League is requiring the use of facial coverings when practical to do so for all summer activity participants, among other guidelines. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
UIL releases guidelines for conducting summer activities during COVID-19 pandemic

The University Interscholastic League released udpated guidelines for schools conducting summer activities such as sports training and marching band practices on July 8.