SPOKANE, Wash. — Vape Shops around Washington are rejoicing this weekend after a ban on flavored vape products was lifted after four months.
Some businesses around Spokane felt the impact of the 120-day ban and welcomed the idea of stocking their shelves again. John Dawson is the owner of Kung Fu Vape in the U-District downtown. He says the ban played a major role in how they operated over the last few months.
“What it really did was affect our business immediately. We didn’t think it was going to have such a big effect.”
Because of the shops' location, many of his customers come in as they stroll through downtown and the ones visiting the city were unfamiliar with the state laws.
“The business took a hit. Foot traffic started slowing down,” Dawson explained.
He says that led people to either buying their go-to products online or driving across the state line into Idaho to pick up different vapes.
Back in October of 2019, the ban was put into place with the idea of preventing underage kids from vaping. In December, Governor Jay Inslee said he was in favor of a permanent ban and since then the legal purchase age for any tobacco or vape product was raised to 21 years old in the state.
Dawson knows the rules and regulations are something that always changes, but he’s trying to stay ready for anything.
“We don’t want any issues. We’re trying to run a business and make money to feed our families.”