Durango shops respond to national vaping panic

by Nick Gonzales

The last year has been rough for the vaping industry, with more than 50 vaping-related deaths causing a national panic, and Durango has not escaped unscathed.

In the wake of reports about hospitalizations and deaths – recently linked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to black market THC products and vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent used in THC products – local retail vape shops suffered.

“About a fourth of my customer base decided they were going to quit smoking and quit vaping,” Robert Fry, general manager of Vapers Vape Shop, told The Durango Herald.

A. Gabriel Gentile, owner of Vape Durango, laid off two employees and estimates local sales declined 35% to 40%.

According to the Herald, Vape Durango and 3rd Eye Vapor plan to diversify their inventory to include pipes and more CBD products, in addition to their vaping products.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 12 residents of Colorado have developed breathing problems after vaping, and they all lived on the Front Range. Half were sickened after using products that contained nicotine.

The CDC and FDA recommend people “not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online sellers.”

In other words, if you’re going to vape your weed, hit up a genuine dispensary. It’s safer and better for your local economy anyway.

Nick Gonzales

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