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Vaping retailers rally against proposed restrictions

WBFO File Photo

With new restrictions being proposed for the sale of e-cigarettes in New York, the vaping industry fought back Friday. Store owners, workers and others rallied in downtown Buffalo to present their side of the story.

While New York is proposing to ban flavored vaping products, Brian Ellis, co-owner of the Yeti Vaping stores, says flavors often entice people to make the switch from more dangerous cigarettes.

"While taking away flavors that (appeal) to people looking to make the switch, you're not giving them a choice," Ellis said. "You'll find these people will stay with traditional cigarettes."

State lawmakers are also looking to increase taxes on vaping products

Vaping industry critics say new restrictions are needed to combat the popularity of vaping among young people. But Ellis says stores like his are vigilant about not selling their products to people under 18 by checking the IDs of young patrons.

Ellis suggests that state government regulate vaping products similar to liquor, by allowing only vape stores to sell the product, as opposed to gas stations and convenience stores, where he says underage users tend to buy.

Ryan Zunner joined WBFO in the summer of 2018 as an intern, before working his way up to reporter the following summer.