Massachusetts' ban last week on vaping products is giving a boost to some vape shops in New Hampshire. The ban, which came after a rash of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths in September, is considered the most aggressive state action against vaping in the country.
Jim Bolton, the owner of Standard Vapor shops in Plaistow and Portsmouth, says stores across the country have seen their markets crash in the last month, but that stores in southern New Hampshire are recovering some of their losses with increased sales to residents driving in from Massachusetts.
Bolton says this is good news for New Hampshire, but not for Massachusetts residents trying to quit smoking.
“We had a lady who, just to get a menthol juice, came all the way from Foxborough,” he says. “It was an older lady who smoked for 20 or 30 years and now she vapes.”
A spokesman for Gov. Chris Sununu says he does not plan to ban the sale of vapes in New Hampshire.
“New Hampshire is actively participating in the CDC’s national investigation into unexplained Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Illness. Right now, we are focused on curtailing the surge in youth vaping," the governor said in a statement.
Last month, President Trump said the White House plans to impose a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.
Bolton says he and other vape shop owners are waiting to see what will happen. “In New Hampshire we kind of seem in the clear but we just wait every single day to see what the federal government is going to do next.”
Note: This post has been updated to include the statement from Gov. Sununu.