A potential US ban on e-cigarette flavours could result in a loss of more than 150,000 jobs and a direct sales hit of $8.4 billion (€7.63 billion), according to a report released by a vaping industry trade group.
Two months ago president Donald Trump's administration announced a sweeping plan to ban all e-cigarette and vaping flavours except tobacco, but a final decision has not been made.
Proponents of the ban have pointed to a dramatic rise in youths vaping, drawn by sweet flavours, and a surge in serious vaping-related illnesses.
More than 27.5% of American high school students use e-cigarettes, up from 20.7% in 2018, according to a survey by the centres for disease control and prevention.
Impact On Jobs
E-cigarette companies have, however, opposed the ban, saying their products are not for children and that it would hit several jobs the industry has created.
If a ban on flavoured vapes goes through, the majority of 13,480 independent vapour shops in the country would have to close, said the report by economist John Dunham & Associates, which was prepared for Vapor Technology Association (VTA).
Nearly 92% of vaping flavours in the independent distribution chain are those other than tobacco, said the report, adding the ban could also cost $22.4 billion (€20.3 billion) in lost economic activity.
The VTA, with over a thousand members, represents e-cigarette makers, as well as retailers and distributors.