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Tempe looks to ban flavored vape products

Posted at 7:07 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 22:07:02-04

TEMPE — A new ordinance, if approved, would ban businesses from selling flavored vape products in Tempe city limits.

Those in favor of the move told ABC15 they want to cut down on the number of young people vaping or smoking.

However, businesses said they don't sell to anyone underage.

"We won't sell to kids, we won't sell to anyone without an ID," said Ted Kaercher, owner of HQ Smoke and Vape in Tempe.

Kaercher said he's been open for about 30 years and is against the banning of flavored products.

“They will be legal to possess and consume here in Tempe, it’ll just force me to not carry those products," he said.

According to Kaercher, a ban would force adults to drive to other parts of the Valley to buy flavored products.

Rex Williamson, a vape distributor in Tempe, agreed.

"All vape stores card people, this is our livelihood," he said.

"It's not making a dent in anybody's bottom line, and nobody is willing to risk their business to try to sale to underage people," Williamson added.

Councilmembers said it was important for the city to address vaping because it could impact the area's youth.

“And the end of the day, it’s just one of the steps we’ve heard from the community, from our educators — our parents, especially — to make sure our youth do not get involved with vaping," said councilmember Joel Navarro.

In Tempe, part of creating a new ordinance includes reaching out to the public.

Navarro said he plans on hearing from concerned business owners and the general population.

According to city documents, the proposal would ban "selling or offering for sale any flavored tobacco product with delivers aerosolized or vaporized nicotine through the use of an electronic cigarette."

"At the end of the day Tempe takes bold moves, and we did it in the past," Navarro said. "We were the first city to ban smoking [indoors] and that was a real hit but at the end of the day, the whole state banned smoking."

The city said it's working on scheduling dates to discuss the potential ban but those dates have not been finalized.