Vape shops push flavors ahead of sales ban

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Flavored vape liquid was buy one, get one free at the Mad Over Vape store in Allendale near the Grand Valley State University Tuesday.

It was a last-minute push by management to rid the store of the product before a statewide ban on selling flavored e-cigarette products took effect at midnight.

The store said the product was selling fast as shoppers looked to stock up.

The ban imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been met with applause and criticism. Supporters say the move is needed as vaping has been blamed on illness and some deaths across the country. Critics say the governor overreached the legislative process and is hurting businesses.

Kevin Finney was shopping at Mad Over Vape just before the store closed at 9 p.m. He said he has no plans to stop using the flavored vape.

“I’m addicted to it,” Finney admitted. “It’s just something I’m going to do. Nothing’s going to hold me back or stop me.”

Finney said he started vaping years ago when he was just 13. He says the governor’s ruling will just drive those who vape elsewhere.

“It’s so extra,” he said of the ban. “Because all of these other states ain’t banning them and I think this is going to make a black market and make more problems for students.”

Finney acknowledged the concern from the governor and some in the health care field who fear the flavors attract kids and rope young people into a dangerous habit.

“It’s understandable, but at the same time it’s just going to make so much more problems I believe,” Finney said. 

Mad Over Vape said it won’t have to dispose of the product because the owners have vape shops outside of Michigan. The unsold product will simply be shipped out for sale elsewhere. 

Management also remained hopeful that the governor’s decision would be overturned as legal challenges run their course.

After midnight, violators caught selling the product could be arrested. They would face a misdemeanor charge punishable by jail time and a fine.

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