Rockford-area e-cigarette retailer closing for good | MyStateline

CHERRY VALLEY, Ill. (WTVO) — Marco’s Vapor, which operates stores in Cherry Valley and Machesney Park, announced Monday that it will be closing for good.

According to owner Marco Altamore, “Government regulations, specifically the FDA, have made it impossible to continue operating in America. They’ve imposed fines to anyone selling unauthorized products. Unsurprisingly, the FDA has only granted authorization to 4 big tobacco companies, while rejecting the millions of devices and liquids submitted by the vape industry. This includes our brand Custom Clouds and every other brand on our shelves.

“This is not an ideal conclusion to Marco’s Vapor, and telling my staff they are losing their jobs was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do,” he continued.

The company plans to close its doors permanently on July 1st, 2024.

Marco’s Vapor has stores at 1957 Pawlisch Drive, in Cherry Valley, and 10201 N. 2nd Street, in Machesney Park.

Due to criticisms over a lack of direction to regulate vaping devices, the head of the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco center promised in February to deliver a five-year strategic plan by year’s end outlining efforts to clean up a sprawling market of largely unauthorized electronic cigarettes.

Public health groups want the FDA to more aggressively police regular cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to teenagers. Tobacco companies complain that the FDA is unwilling to approve new alternative products — including e-cigarettes — that might help adults quit smoking.

Vaping industry representatives said they were unimpressed by the FDA update, which they said would continue to result in denials for most vaping products.

The FDA has sent hundreds of warning letters to vape shops and e-cigarette manufacturers in recent years, calling on them to remove products.

In recent months, the FDA and the Justice Department have announced the first lawsuits and fines targeting vape shops and manufacturers selling unauthorized products.

The FDA’s tobacco center was created by Congress in 2009 and granted sweeping powers to remake the industry, including banning harmful ingredients from traditional products and authorizing new, less-harmful alternatives.

Tobacco industry lawsuits have repeatedly blocked FDA actions designed to help smokers quit, including adding graphic warnings to cigarette packs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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