SACRAMENTO -- After the Sacramento City Council voted to ban flavored tobacco Tuesday, stores are considering closing their doors for good just as shops outside the city are getting ready to cash in.
It's a trend once thought to be an alternative to smoking cigarettes but now public health experts say vaping is attracting a crowd it wasn’t intended for — young people.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 5 million high school and middle school students used tobacco in a month’s time
Now, the City Council is trying to stop the addiction before it starts by banning flavored tobacco products within the city limits, something that some shop owners say will kill their business.
"It will devastate our business, definitely. Like 85% of our sales comes from vaping," said Sean Lizama from Cloud 9 in Sacramento.
As some Sacramento stores are preparing to potentially close, shops outside city limits are getting ready to cash in on the new wave of business.
Jared Gafka of Hella Glass said he’s looking forward to welcoming Sacramento customers to Carmichael once the city ban goes into effect.
"I mean any business hopes for a boost in sales," he said.
However, he also worries people will bypass physical stores entirely and make their tobacco purchases online instead.
"I think it’s only going to hurt small businesses. It's only going to hurt the little guy in the long run," Gafka said. "And honestly, they can ban it all they want to from the stores but who’s to say they're not going to order from online?"
With a statewide tobacco flavor ban already proposed, tobacco shops around Northern California are hoping the restrictions don’t follow them to their part of town.
"They're definitely going to go under and that's going to be really sad," Gafka said.
The ban officially goes into effect Jan. 1.
San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond have already enacted similar bans in recent years.