Some EBR leaders want sellers of vape products regulated
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro Council is hearing an introduction that requests leaders to look at regulations surrounding retailers that sell vape products.
The authors of the resolution are concerned that vape shops and other retailers selling e-cigarettes are flying below the radar. They said their mission is to make sure these businesses are facing the same rules and regulations as others pushing similar products that are sometimes sought out by minors.
A resolution is now in the hands of the Metro Council.
“I started to dig in on these types of shops being treated differently, zoned differently,” said Councilman Rowdy Gaudet, District 3. “Are there any requirements? The short answer was no.”
Spear-headed Gaudet and District 8 Councilwoman Denise Amoroso, the resolution requests the parish attorney’s office, the permit office, and the planning commission to study regulations and distance requirements for tobacco retailers, specifically vape shops and other retailers selling e-cigarettes and or vape products.
“They are treated as general retailers. We don’t have any requirements from schools, churches, neighborhoods, but we do for other products,” explained Gaudet.
He added he is aware of the multitude of shops popping up in and around the parish but under what regulations and or ordinances should they fall? He noted that is the question he hopes a study can answer.
“What are other communities doing? How are they treating this? We look at similar communities,” emphasized Gaudet.
A bill to raise Louisiana’s age to vape, smoke, or use any tobacco or nicotine product from 18 to 21 was passed in June 2021. The bill makes it illegal for people under 21 to buy or use the products.
“Let’s uphold that regulation. However, I think the reality is they are not limited to that,” pointed out Gaudet.
He insists this study is all about the safety of children and is not meant to target specific businesses.
“This is not an attempt to shut down shops. It’s just to take a look at zoning rules,” said Gaudet.
The next step in the process would be a public hearing.
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