Despite receiving four verbal warnings by local authorities, owner of Mega Vapes, Brad Bennett, has refused to close his shop and vows to remain open. He said that he is doing his best to keep his business afloat, and safeguard his four employees from unemployment.
“People are suffering, businesses are suffering, but I just don’t think there’s a reason to shut down all business when we can take reasonable accommodations during this crisis,” said Bennett. “We have a product that people need, they have to have it, it’s nicotine and medicinal CBD.”
In Europe, some countries have recognized that closing vape shops will just encourage former smokers to go back to smoking regular cigarettes.
Bennett added that his employees and himself have been consistently updating the way they conduct business, in order to comply with guidelines from the city and CDC, in ensuring the safety of their customers as well as their own. However, added the shop owner, closing the shop is not a measure he is willing to adopt and he is even willing to take the issue to court.
“We’ve already seen with the delays in unemployment insurance, the delays in the payroll protection program,” said Bennett. “I haven’t even gotten a call back from them yet even though I did it on Friday. So the fact is if this money doesn’t come in, our employees are not going to have any money.”
To this effect, Bennett has issued a plea, asking the city mayor to support him. “Mayor, I am asking you, I’m willing to sit down and explain my point of view on this, but please take a second look at this and reconsider what is going to happen to small businesses like me who just can’t stay in business,” said Bennett. “I fully expect if he continues on this course of action we will ultimately start receiving fines and/or risk getting our certificate of occupancy suspended.”
Reopening vape shops in Europe
Meanwhile in Europe, some countries have recognized that closing vape shops will just encourage former smokers to go back to smoking regular cigarettes, and allowed vape shops to remain open. Other countries such as France, Spain and Italy, had initially closed them but allowed them to reopen. In Italy, award winning Dr. Riccardo Polosa explained why it would be ridiculous to keep tobacconists open whilst closing outlets that sell safer alternatives.
“..hundreds of thousands of vapers would have been at risk of gatewaying back to smoking. It was an issue of public health in my opinion. Also, many vapers with respiratory diseases have seen a curtailment of their symptoms by vaping, and by stopping vaping we would have seen a rise in acute exacerbation in respiratory disease. This would have been extremely detrimental to the national health system at a time when you have ICU beds occupied and not available for anything else,” said the professor.
Read Further: Spectrum News
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