Thursday, October 10, 2019

Cloud99 Vapes space for rent, business set to close

A for rent sign hangs in the front window of Cloud99 Vapes at 50 Second Ave. between Second Street and Third Street. The shop will be closing in the months ahead, a victim of the public health crisis involving vaping products.

According to published reports, vaping-related injuries and deaths are continuing to mount, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting 1,080 lung injuries in 48 states and the Virgin Islands and more than 20 confirmed deaths from 15 states. (A Bronx teenager was the first person to die of a vaping-related illness in New York, officials said Tuesday.)

On Sept. 17, New York passed an emergency ban on flavored vaping products. However, the ban was halted on Oct. 3, when an appeals court issued a temporary restraining order. The next hearing is set for Oct. 18.

Still, the damage has been done. As MSN recently reported, business at Cloud99 is down 70 percent.

Pete Foran, a co-owner, is a retired NYPC officer. Per MSN:

Electronic cigarettes had become a galloping trend, and a vape store seemed like a lucrative second act.

Sure enough: Offering dozens of flavored vaping products, the Second Avenue shop was a hit. Foran and his partners opened two more locations in Nanuet and Suffern. Revenue hit $2 million.

And now...

Foran and his partners are stuck with $300,000 of inventory, 95 percent of which is flavored. The manufacturers won't take the product back, and Foran isn't even sure how to dispose of highly concentrated nicotine, each bottle of "vape juice" the equivalent of packs if not cartons of cigarettes. "You can't just throw it in a landfill," he said. "It's poison."

In Foran's view, officials didn't approach the outbreak rationally. "They should have handled it like a homicide investigation," tracing the potentially illness-causing cartridges to their sources, he said. "What's coming out is that it's black-market products that are causing these things."

NBC News did conduct an investigation late last month:

NBC News commissioned one of the nation's leading cannabis testing facilities to test a sampling of THC cartridges — 18 in all — obtained from legal dispensaries and unlicensed dealers.

The findings were deeply troubling.

Of the three purchased from legal dispensaries in California, the CannaSafe testing company found no heavy metals, pesticides or residual solvents like Vitamin E.

But 13 out of the other 15 samples from black market THC cartridges were found to contain Vitamin E.

CannaSafe also tested 10 of the unregulated cartridges for pesticides. All 10 tested positive.

Still, a new poll conducted by Siena College finds 61 percent of New Yorkers support the ban, and 78 percent believe that vaping is a serious public health problem.

Cloud99 Vapes opened in 2015 (at the site of the former Yoo's Convenience Store). And it won't be the only local vape-related shop impacted by the current crisis.


Anonymous said...

"You can't just throw it in a landfill," he said. "It's poison."

Ah, but you were more than happy to sell it to teenagers and college kids. Karma, my friend.

Anonymous said...

"... each bottle of "vape juice" the equivalent of packs if not cartons of cigarettes."

That is a very damning piece of information right there; I'd like to see that spelled out in 1-foot-high letters on a banner outside each store that sells this stuff.

How much damage is done by vaping? Nobody really knows yet. How many young people will damage their lungs before they're even out of high school or college? What's the long-term health cost to the country of this vaping?

Nic Fit said...

Love how these comments completely ignore the point of the 2nd half of the post. It's the illegal THC vape cartridges that are causing the damage. Vaping legal product is said to be 95% safer than cigarettes by the UK's NIH. But why bother with facts or data when we get to be mad at someone online!

Anonymous said...

I mean no matter what, sucking hot vaporized oils and whatever else into your lungs is obviously not good.

Anonymous said...

@1:44pm: Perhaps you missed the part where Juul and other manufacturers admitted to tinkering with the nicotine content of their vapes. Why would they do that, I wonder? You're talking about a product that is meant to be addictive, basically!

Giovanni said...

Obviously it is the illegal THC vaping oils that are causing the short term, immediate damage to kids lungs that is landing all these people in the hospital. However, there there have been many reports about the legal cartridges that contain many unknown chemicals which potentially cause longer term damage. The idea that vaping is safe just because all of these chemicals are being delivered to the lungs via vapor instead from smoke ignores the fact that your lungs are designed to absorb oxygen, not unknown chemicals, VOCs, small particles and heavy metals like tin and lead. According to the Surgeon General:

“Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:

- ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
- volatile organic compounds
- heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead”

While it’s true that cigarettes kill half a million people in the US every year, which is 1 in 5 deaths, we don't yet know how many people will die from vaping, and it may even turn out to be just as bad or worse than smoking cigarettes. That being said, we should also ban cigarettes, but that won’t work either, since addicts will be addicts, and people will smoke just about anything.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is on week 3 of quitting smoking (thanks to nicorette and nyc), i am relieved i never vaped. It was hard enough to quit after a short year and a half of picking it up, but watching so many suck on a vape like candy is extremely scary. Im very concerned for the long term effects.

Anonymous said...

To call the closing of this shop a "victim of the current health crisis" is an outrage. The shops that sell this stuff are not victims of anything, they are the perpetrators.

Billsville said...

These bans don't work. For example, Massachusetts has banned all vaping oils, flavored and unflavored, and all marijuana for the next 4 months in order to “study the problem”, so now people are driving up to New Hampshire or down to Rhode Island to buy their vaping supplies, and business in those states is booming. Kids who can't drive to another state will just buy their vapes on the black market, which are the products that are causing most of the health problems,

The strange thing is that vape sellers in Massachusetts can still sell their products online as long as the buyer is from another state, so in reality the state doesn't actually care about the health of people who live in other states, they just want their money. This means that anyone in New York or any other state with a ban can just go online and buy the same products that are banned here. And in Massachusetts, you can still go into a liquor store and buy raspberry mango vodka and peach schnapps.

This whole vape ban reeks of a tobacco industry fear campaign designed to get rid of the competition, and it’s working.

Anonymous said...

The stores really are an eyesore.

Anonymous said...

@12:29pm: Yes, they are an eyesore, b/c they look as glassy, vacant & inhospitable to humans as one might expect a place that's selling addictive (and possibly life-threatening) substances to look.