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Are These The Last Vape Shops In San Francisco?

Vape shops are preparing for the January 1st ban

At first, Christopher Chin liked the name “Gone With The Smoke” because it wasn’t too on-the-nose. All the other vape shops were using some variation of “X, Y, Z Vapor”—Tasty Vapor, Happy Vapor, Alpha Vapor, the Vapor Cave. You wouldn’t forget a store that sells e-cigarettes with a name like Gone With The Smoke, Chin figured. And so far, customers haven’t. “It’s like Cheers,” Chin tells me: When regulars come in, he knows their smoking habits, marital status, and what’s up at work.

But almost six years later, the name has taken on new meaning, as Chin’s and other vape shops in San Francisco come to terms with an impending ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, proposed in an effort to curb the growing use of vaping pens by teenagers. The few remaining vape stores that specialize in e-cigarettes and sell no other tobacco products will be most immediately affected by the ruling, Chin says.

“We have no future,” he said. “We play by the rules, and they change the rules in the middle of the game.”

San Francisco’s vape moratorium is the first of its kind in the country. Mayor London Breed signed the bill into law last month, and sales will be prohibited starting in late January. The ban will remain in effect pending a Food and Drug Administration assessment of the health risks of e-cigarettes.


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