Mission Leaders Consider Zoning Restrictions For New Vape Shops
The city of Mission is preparing to hold a public hearing to consider zoning restrictions for new vape stores. The proposed ban will prohibit vape shops from opening within a thousand feet of a school. The ban will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
Public hearing to be held on zoning restrictions for new vape shops in Mission
City officials in Mission, Texas, are considering zoning restrictions for new vape shops. The proposed changes will limit where a new store can open and what types of products they sell. The board of commissioners will hold a public hearing on the changes in early 2023. The city council will then have to approve the changes.
The Food and Drug Administration recently attempted to ban e-cigarettes but a federal appeals court temporarily blocked it. A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 2.55 million students in the US reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. Ben Chosij said that he supports efforts to reduce the use of tobacco by youth but wants to ensure the buffer zone has the proper protection for businesses.
Impact of zoning restrictions on sales of flavored vape products
Zoning restrictions on vape shops are a growing concern across the nation. In the District of Columbia, a new bill would ban vape shops from opening near schools. Another bill would require a doctor's prescription before selling vaping products. While vaping has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a method of smoking cessation, anti-tobacco advocates are trying to curb the industry through taxes and zoning restrictions. One state, Massachusetts, recently raised its excise tax on vape products from 5% to 75%.
In recent years, local tobacco laws have become more restrictive, with the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products being raised to 21 in many places. For example, the Town of North Hempstead has passed Code SS 54-1 (2017). Although these measures may seem like small changes, they could put many vape shops out of business. In fact, in some cases, the new law may result in a ban altogether.
The new law also bans the sale of menthol cigarettes. This move will require new regulation of flavored tobacco sales, and it will take years before it takes effect. Menthol cigarettes are highly attractive to youth and are harder to kick than regular cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes are heavily marketed to black smokers and are a particularly popular option. While the ban does not affect the sale of flavored cigarette products in general, it will likely affect retailers in cities that already have age restrictions in place.
A partial ban on flavored vape products may actually increase the uptake of flavored combustible tobacco products, which may have serious implications for the population. Comprehensive flavored tobacco product sales bans, rather than local flavored vape product sales restrictions, should be prioritized by tobacco control advocates.