CUYAHOGA FALLS — The FDA is cracking down again on what it is calling an "epidemic" among teens. With a new proposal, vaping could lose its flavor appeal as the FDA announced Wednesday possibly pulling flavored e-liquids from shelves.
The proposal not only restricts the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes to stores that check customers' ages as they walk through the door, but it also speeds up the deadline to review flavored nicotine products and allows the feds to pull e-cigarettes from shelves altogether.
Mint, menthol and tobacco flavors would stay on shelves.
Vape shop owner Jason Nobles owns Groove-E-Juice in Kent and just opened a Cuyahoga Falls location early March. He said fruity juices make up about 90 percent of his e-liquids and the flavors draw in all ages.
"I use Ben and Jerry's as an inspiration," Nobles said. "Tobacco flavors suck.”
He quit smoking traditional cigarettes eight years ago, swapping the not-so-pleasant taste to something he calls crave-worthy. Flavors range from the "Berry White" to "Crunch Munchy," which is a take on a favorite childhood cereal.
He said the strawberry waffle flavor is what kicked his smoking habit to the curb.
Groove-E-Juice makes its vape juice, even allowing customers to customize nicotine levels.
Nobles said the wacky concoctions is what brings customers in and fears his business will take a hit if pulled.
With how-to videos on YouTube and the ability to buy juice from overseas shops, Nobles said it wouldn't reduce the vaping rate among teens.
"You can ban stuff all you want, that just makes a child to want something more. They will find a solution; they will find a way," Nobles said.
Nobles’ Cuyahoga Falls shop sells to adults 18 and older. His Kent shop changed last summer to 21 and up.
Over the last six months, Nobles business has lost $10,000 a month in revenue, which is another reason he wants fruity juices to stay in-house.
Cuyahoga Falls City Council meets March 18 where an agenda item is raising the age of purchasing vape juice in the city to 21.
The FDA proposal is open for public comment for the next 30 days.