INDIANAPOLIS–Raising the legal smoking and vaping age to 21 is a great idea, says the owner of Indy E-Cigs.
Indy E-Cigs is a vape shop located in Broad Ripple. The owner, Shadi Khoury, recently spoke to Abdul Hakim-Shabazz of Indy Politics. Khoury is bothered by the deaths of five people in Indiana that have been related to some form of vaping illness, but he says the key is to make sure people know the truth.
“We’re starting to bounce back now that the public is getting more educated on what really is going on. We’re happy to see that because that means adults are making decisions to use e-cigarettes as opposed to combustible tobacco products. The fact of the matter is that THC cartridges that are causing these deaths. In fact, black market THC products are responsible for all of this happening,” Khouri said.
Governor Holcomb and other leaders on a federal level have called for the legal age of vaping to be raised to 21.
“We’re not in this industry to get youth hooked on vaping. We’re here to help adults quit smoking. If the government says, ‘You need to be 21’, then we would support that,” Khouri said.
Which begs the question, how do you keep kids under the age of 18 from vaping? Khouri says there are several ways.
“We don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 to even come into our store. One of the other big problems is the Internet and technology. On our website, you have to go through ID verification before we’ll ship a product to you,” Khouri says.
He also says there should be harsher punishments for vape shops that violate underage sales. For the most part, vape shops do a good job of that, Khouri says.
“There have been recent studies released by the FDA as far as compliance with identifying individuals as they come into the store. Vape shops actually had the highest rate of compliance compared to independent gas stations, big retail places, and liquor stores,” Khouri says.
Khouri says he built his company on helping adults quit and never letting his products get in the hands of youth.
(PHOTO: Mauro Grigollo/Thinkstock)