City of Fayetteville to discuss preventing vape stores from operating near schools

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A proposal in Fayetteville would prevent vape shops from operating close to schools and childcare centers.

The action comes as vaping devices are becoming more popular among teens.

New numbers suggest 3.8 million teens are jumping on the vaping trend.

As those figures grow, city leaders said so are the number of vaping stores in Fayetteville.

"When you put thse vape stores in neighborhoods around schools, around daycares aound these type of facilities where children dwell, we really don't want that to be a target for something for our children to have easy access," said Councilmember Larry Wright.

That's why council members Wright and Bill Crisp are asking city leaders to consider a change to an ordinance that would essentially prevent vape stores from operating near schools.

"I don't think kids to be subject to it. Especially so close to school and I'm an ex-smoker and I don't even think its a good idea," said Michelle Sams, mom of two teens.

But vape store owners told ABC11 they don't think it's fair.

"If you have a convenience store that's next door to a school selling cigarettes and beer, what's the difference between a vape shop 200 feet down the road?" the owner told ABC11.
The owner of Karma Culture has several shops in the city. One of them is near a middle school on Skibo Road.

"I have three businesses in fayetteville and definitely, I would have to cut hours which in turn would effect everything," he explained.

According to CounterTobacco.Org, stores near schools in some areas may be more likely to sell to minors or displace enticing advertising.

But local store owners said their biggest display is a bright red stop sign asking for IDs.

"If you walk into any of my stores and my employees think that you're underage they will immediately ask for your id and if you don't have an id they will ask you to leave," one owner explained.

The measure will also regulate signage and appearance for the stores.

The change of ordinance would need the support of the city council. It's on the table for discussion next Monday.
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