YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Last month, the city of Yonkers banned the sale of flavored vaping products.
Well, on Wednesday those products were back on the shelves of local stores following a ruling from an appeals court, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
They say you can’t fight city hall. But Michael Bowers, owner of The Vape Cave, did and he said victory is as sweet as the flavored vaping products he is once again selling.
“When you get off tobacco your taste buds change. You want fruity flavors,” Bowers said.
Bowers sued after Yonkers banned the sale of fruit-flavored liquids in October, but an appeals court has temporarily put the ban on hold.
Bowers said the bulk of his customers are former smokers, such as Tonia Mitchell.
“I tried everything. I tried the gum, I tried the patch, and nothing worked for me except for this,” Mitchell said.
Mayor Mike Spano said the ban makes sense, believing fruit flavors get kids hooked on vaping.
“Hooked on nicotine. We want to prevent that from happening,” Spano said. “We believe that this is a good ordinance, to keep, especially the flavored products, out of the hands of kids.”
The Vape Cave said it has no interest in selling to minors. It even invested in technology to scan drivers licenses to make sure customers are 21. The industry believes various ban proposals are misguided responses to vaping-related lung injuries and deaths.
“I think because people were not understanding that THC and illicit black market products were what was causing the deaths, they felt panic and the need to do something,” said Spike Babaian of the New York State Vapor Association.
Bowers said his business dropped 84 percent while the ban was in place.
“In four years that we’ve been open here in Yonkers, this is my first month where I haven’t been able to afford to pay rent,” Bowers said.
The city predicts it will ultimately prevail in court, but for now vape shop customers in New York’s fourth-largest city can again savor the flavors.
A statewide ban on flavored products has also been put on hold during a court challenge.