The people's voice of reason

Mom and pop vape stores plead with lawmakers to keep their doors open

There's a battle at the statehouse for the 3rd year in a row and it's a battle for small vape store owners to save their livelihood.

It's not a battle with China, it's a battle with "little vape and big vape, also known as big tobacco partners.

In 2021, big tobacco companies came to lawmakers with an idea to duplicate the FDA premarket tobacco application process at the state level, with one goal in mind- and that was to eliminate any competition and to gain control over the adult clientele of small vape stores.

"House Bill 65 immediately puts us out of business. We have helped thousands of adults quit cigarettes with zero underage violations in 10 years doing business in Alabama. It is difficult to understand why our lawmakers are attempting to protect Big Tobacco over small Alabama vape stores and handing the vape industry to a group that kills over 480,000 Americans every year." - Vimesh Patel - Alabama Vape Store Owner

All products already go through the PMTA process at the federal level. The state is not required to duplicate the process. This is a waste of state resources that could be going towards helping keeping these products that big tobacco advertised to our kids away from them.

"According to the FDA, in 2023 over 95% of violations for underage sales in Alabama occurred in convenience stores and gas stations. So far in 2024, 100% of violations have occurred in those businesses"

If lawmakers really wanted to keep these products out of kids hands, they wouldn't put small vape stores out of business for big tobacco, they would hold all retailers accountable by making them pay substantial fines for selling to minors, and take away their license for doing so. We are calling on all small vape stores and adult clients, contact your state Senators today, your livelihood depends on it.

Editorial note - this is a letter to the editor, The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or positions of the Alabama Gazette.

 

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