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>> The escalating US-China trade war is casting a misty cloud over the American vaping industry. A whopping 91% of imported e-cigarette products come to the US from China and they're included in President Trump's threat to slap Beijing with steep tariffs. Analysts say that would force vapers to pay more just as the business faces slower growth amid rising health concerns.
Kara Carlson is on the story.>> If the tariffs were to take place, we'd see pricing increases. Industry experts predict it could go up as much as 15% on kind of a typical device. You see increases on pretty much anything across the board because the products themselves are very low margin.
We already have very price sensitive users as far as people who are using vape to start with. So the industry experts say that you'd have to cut jobs or raise these prices. They'd have no real choice.>> E-cigarettes have surged in popularity in recent years especially among the young.
Users inhaling steam rather than smoke from the nicotine filled devices.>> So it's coming at a really bad time for the industry itself. There is already a lot of uncertainty as far as regulation and health warnings about the addictive nature of nicotine.>> Vaping was invented in China and much of the technical expertise needed to make the products is there.
>> Moving more production would be really difficult here. There isn't really the talent needed to create these types of products here currently. So they don't have the employees that would be able to make it, even if they had the infrastructure.>> That means sellers are facing a crunch that could put some vaping shops out of business.