Shop Owners in Louisville Push for Compromise to Vape Ban
The city of Louisville, Kentucky is currently at the center of a heated debate on vapor regulations. A new law would make it illegal for consumers to use cigarettes or other tobacco products inside the premises of retailers who sell tobacco products.
The proposal comes as the city looks for ways to make tobacco products less attractive to youth and improve clean air standards. However, representatives on both sides of the aisle are split on the issue as it may infringe upon small businesses and their ability to be successful.
Relying on Samples
The vapor industry currently offers thousands of unique e-liquid flavors to vaping customers. As a result, it has become standard practice for vapers to sample an e-liquid before they buy an entire bottle.
Those in support of the new bill say that secondhand exposure to vapor chemicals is unsafe in the confines of vapor shops, while those opposed say that there is little evidence that secondhand vapor has any negative health effects whatsoever, and that vapor shops rely heavily on the sampling process to give customers the best experience.
Without samples, vapers would have to take a chance on one of thousands of flavors and would be unable to return or exchange the liquid if it was not to their taste. The result could be a loss in revenue for vapor shops as customers grow weary of testing out new liquids at great personal expense.
Several council members have indicated that imposing new limits on local business owners would be a big loss for the city.
The Silver Lining
For the most part, legislators claim that there should be zero exceptions to the new rule, but a handful of representatives have indicated that there may be a way to specify sampling rules for vapor shops.
This would likely include limiting the size and frequency of samples allowed, and it would bring the law under fire from traditional smoke shops that would still be banned from participating.
For now, the issue has been placed on hold as both sides gather further evidence and hear from healthcare professionals as well as vape shop owners. The committee is scheduled to resume in May with a final vote on the issue.
As of now, the bill does not have enough confirmed support to pass in its current form, giving vapers in Kentucky some hope that they can continue sampling flavors while continuing efforts to educate legislators in the state on the benefits of vaping.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.