Tempe plans to ban flavored vaping products

TEMPE – A new ordinance, if approved, would prohibit companies from selling flavored vaping products within the city limits of Tempe.

Supporters of the move told ABC15 they want to reduce the number of young people vaping or smoking.

However, the companies said they do not sell to minors.

“We won’t sell to children, we won’t sell to anyone without ID,” said Ted Kaercher, owner of HQ Smoke and Vape in Tempe.

Kaercher said it has been around for about 30 years and is against banning flavored products.

“They will be legal to possess and consume here in Tempe, it will just require me not to carry these products,” he said.

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

Rex Williamson, a vape distributor in Tempe, agreed.

“All vape card sellers, this is our livelihood,” he said.

“It doesn’t affect anyone’s bottom line, and no one is willing to risk their business to try to sell to minors,” Williamson added.

Council members said it was important for the city to address vaping because it could impact young people in the area.

“And at the end of the day, this is just one of the measures that we have heard from the community, from our educators – our parents, in particular – to ensure that our young people do not get involved in vaping,” said board member Joel Navarro.

In Tempe, part of creating a new ordinance includes raising public awareness.

Navarro said he plans to hear from affected business owners and the general public.

According to city documents, the proposal would prohibit “the sale or offering for sale of any flavored tobacco product containing aerosolized or vaporized nicotine through the use of an e-cigarette.”

“At the end of the day, Tempe takes bold steps, and we’ve done that in the past,” Navarro said. “We were the first city to ban smoking [indoors] and it was a real hit, but in the end, the whole state went into a smoking ban.”

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

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