About 125 supporters of the vaping industry held a rally Friday afternoon in downtown Buffalo to protest proposed state laws that they claim would destroy the industry.
The rally at Lower Terrace and Church streets was sponsored by a coalition of Buffalo area individuals who vape, run vaping businesses or work at such businesses.
They are upset at proposed state laws that would increase taxes on vaping products and would stop companies from selling flavored vaping products, said Victor Canastraro, who owns a string of vaping stores in Buffalo, Depew, Batavia and Rochester.
Critics of vaping have raised concerns about the increased numbers of teenagers who vape, saying vaping can also cause health problems.
“Studies show that vaping is much safer than smoking cigarettes, and studies also show that most of the people who vape are people who began vaping as an alternative to smoking,” Canastraro said.
He said there are about 3 million people who vape in New York State, in addition to 873 vaping stores that employ about 3,000 people. “We believe the laws the state is proposing would destroy our industry,” Canastraro said.