Smoke shops in Tallahassee react after FDA bans Juul products
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Smoke shops will be clearing the shelves of Juul products as the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it’s banning sales of that e-cigarette brand.
It comes after years of concerns that the product is unsafe and a danger to teens.
Nearly a dozen smoke shops in Tallahassee told WCTV they had already been cutting back on sales of Juul products because this has been in the works for some time.
Back in 2019, many of the shops, like Galaxy Vape and Smoke Shop, lost thousands of dollars when Juul’s fruit and dessert flavored products were eliminated.
“It doesn’t really come as a surprise. I’m just surprised it took as long as it did,” said Galaxy Vape and Smoke Shop Manager Kimberly Fischer.
Fischer said she’s worked in smoke shops for over eight years and this is a battle she’s followed from the start.
“I saw this coming down the pike because we were told about legislation wanting to be passed because the Juuls were being used by teenagers,” Fischer said.
The FDA is banning sales of Juul products. The administration said there’s not enough evidence that the e-cigarettes meet public safety standards.
Fischer said that about 50% of their sales are made up of vape products. Eliminating a top seller like Juul will be something they feel in the store.
“It’s going to come into sales, sales will go down. Fortunately, we do have other products that can replace the Juuls,” Fischer said.
She said the majority of the smoke shops in Tallahassee are locally owned, making the impact even harder.
“These are small business owners that are running these smoke shops, so any sales we lose impacts our bottom line. Period, it’s just that simple,” Fischer said.
She hopes that they will soon start carrying products with zero percent nicotine, which she believes will help bring in customers.
Fischer said she’s concerned that next, the FDA will try to ban any kind of disposable vape or vape juice, which she said will put a lot of places out of business.
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