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Hundreds of local jobs could go up in smoke with flavor ban

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Flavored liquid used in e-cigarettes would be banned in New York under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget. Vaping advocates say the ban could hurt the local economy and cost hundreds of people their jobs. 

One of the largest manufacturers and distributors of vapor products in the state is located on Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo. Jon Glauser, co-founder of Demand Vape, says his company now employs more than 200 people.

"We have a $1 million a month payroll. And we sell and distribute products to adult-only vape shops all over the country."

Glauser says a ban on flavored liquid would not only hurt his company it could put his wholesale customers across the state out of business.

"Ninety percent of our sales are flavored liquids," Glauser said.

The Lancet, a leading medical journal, published a letter Friday signed by nearly three dozen independent scientists, including one from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, attacking "misinformation" about e-cigarettes. The letter says, in part, that "E-cigarettes have an important role to play in preventing death from tobacco use and denying smokers the choice to use e-cigarettes could be devastating."

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
Demand Vape co-founder Jon Glauser and his consultant, former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra (Left) met with reporters in the company's office Monday.

Glauser says Cuomo's justification for the flavor ban is to keep teenagers from vaping. But he says the issue is getting mixed up with health problems caused by illegal THC cartridges sold on the street. He says the scientists' letter encourages a different stance.    
"They outline that this conflation of THC related deaths in the media and in the policymakers hands has led to something that could have a huge impact on public health. And they also restated that the science on this is very strong in favor of these products."
Glauser says Demand Vape wants to work with policymakers in Albany on legislation to keep vapor products out of the hands of minors. He says a flavor ban does not accomplish that goal.  


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