WEST BOUNTIFUL —To allow retail tobacco “specialty” businesses in West Bountiful or not – the city council was due to decide that issue Tuesday night as The Clipper went to press.
Ordinances were prepared that would apply to allowing them or not. It’s in the council’s hands as to which ordinance will become effective immediately.
“At the last meeting, it was clear thee was kind’ve a split” among the council, said City Administrator Duane Huffman. “There’s not a consensus on what to do.”
With that split opinion in mind, the city has prepared ordinances that outline reasons to proceed in either direction, he said.
It’s anticipated representatives from the Davis County Health Department and at least one tobacco shop will be in attendance, Huffman said.
The issue has been an ongoing one for the city.
In December, the council imposed a temporary ban on all smoke shops, citing a need to research the impact such retailers would have on the city. Huffman said the ban could be for up to six months, and that time is now up.
In the meantime, the city wanted to see what action the 2014 Utah State Legislature might take on the matter. However, a bill proposed by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, “Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes,” failed to pass.
During that time, the planning commission also did a study of electronic cigarettes.
The Utah State Code doesn’t allow smoke shops within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, churches and other community areas. It also must be at least 600 feet from a property zo0ned for commercial/residential use.
Huffman said the West Bountiful Gateway shopping center would be the only place where a smoke shop could be allowed, based on zoning
Centerville was reportedly the first city in the state to ban all smoke shops, except for one that was already in place. That store has since closed.
In February, the Davis County Board of Health approved a regulation requiring e-cigarette manufacturers obtain a permit from the department.
Many local shops manufacture their own e-juice, County Health Director Lewis Garrett said. The health department found inconsistent labeling, bottles prone to leaking without child-proof caps and sanitation issues in stores mixing their own solutions. Nicotine content was sometimes mislabeled.
In addition, shops must limit any claims that e-cigarettes can be an effective smoking cessation product, and that “sampling” allowed under Utah law, be limited.
“Some e-cigarette shop owners have used this to set up their own smoking lounges,” Garrett said.
Sandy Herrera has previously applied to open an e-cigarette store in West Bountiful.
She complemented the city council on being “open minded,” seeing a smoke shop “as something to bring tax revenue into the city.
She had a problem with her shop classified as a smoke shop. Smoke shops sell pipes and other paraphenalia.
“That’s not what we are. That’s not the kind of products I will ever sell in my store. It’s totally different but being classified as the same.”