Fairhaven Business Frets Over FDA’s Ban on Juul E-Cigarettes
Kirsti Berche saved for years until she had enough money to open a distinctive smoke shop on Route 6 in Fairhaven. On June 23, 2022, the Federal Drug Administration said it is banning the sale of Juul e-cigarettes. Juul must stop selling and marketing its products and everything that's already on the market must be removed.
"Before the FDA banned vaping products, the FDA approved the tobacco and flavored nicotine products because evidence showed the government that they helped addicted adult smokers transition away from the chemicals found in cigarettes," Berche said. "And now they do this?"
Berche said when she first opened up, "the e-cigarette market on the SouthCoast was a place of competition, where small businesses could thrive and offer smokers innovative and safer alternatives to cigarettes," she said.
"But now, my customers are paying much more, taxes have doubled and I'm making half of what I used to bring in," she lamented.
Berche worries that this will keep people on the SouthCoast from stopping smoking.
"I know vaping has helped people stop smoking cigarettes," she said. "Customers have told me their health care workers recommended they step down from their addiction to cigarettes by switching over to vape, especially before surgery."
Berche said the FDA ban will help grow the shadow economy.
"Communities will lose taxes and the unregulated 'disposable' vape pen market will just get bigger," she said.
Whenever they take away freedom from people, some will say it violates one's personal liberty. Berche agrees that smoking should be a personal option.
"Yes, I believe that in America, people should have free will and choice deciding on what kind of lifestyle they will have," she said.