Washington City bans new tobacco specialty shops

Vapor from an e-cigarette | Cropped Photo: ecigclick.co.uk / CC BY-SA 2.0

WASHINGTON CITY, Utah — The Washington City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to ban new tobacco specialty stores, according to a report by St. George News.

The ordinance governs the regulation, licensure and land use permitting sales of electronic cigarettes and related products within Washington City and prohibits the establishment of future tobacco specialty stores, the report said.

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department suggested banning future specialty smoke shops in Washington City due to a sharp rise in e-cigarette use, commonly known as “vaping,” among teenagers in Washington County.

“For us, it’s a health-related issue,” said Kye Nordfelt, director of health promotions for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, in an interview with St. George News. “We’re seeing a significant rise in e-cigarette use among teenagers. We’ve seen it rise about 350 percent over the last few years.”

Three currently-existing tobacco specialty stores in the city – Mike’s Smoke Shop & Cigar, Vapor Works and Cloud 9 – are allowed to continue operating their businesses. The owners of the those stores also have the option to sell their businesses to new owners, and to expand their businesses in their current locations, but they are not allowed to relocate.

Vapor Works and Cloud 9 specialize in electronic cigarette products. Both are considered tobacco specialty stores because they sell electronic cigarette liquids containing nicotine, which is a product of tobacco.

Click here to read the full report.