City Council passes ordinance to change smoke shops’ proximity from schools

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 10:44 AM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices is a growing concern with the Laredo community that city council is hoping to tackle.

The city is working on a possible ordinance that would set restrictions on where these types of business set up around town.

This is not the first time that city council talks about the vaping issues in the Gateway City and the ways to stop the use of vaping or e-cigarettes.

A proposed ordinance that was just passed is allowing school districts and the city to join forces to combat the growing use of e-cigarettes in town by not allowing businesses that sell e-cigarettes to sell near school zones.

The American Cancer Society reports that the possible long -term health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping includes serious lung diseases.

The Texas Health and Human Services reports that more 5,700 teens start vaping each day and 40 percent of kids have vaped at least once.

In an effort to prevent teens in Laredo from using e-cigarettes, councilmembers discussed the efforts to try to keep minors from using such devices.

This initiative started with the city and both Laredo public school districts trying to prevent the use of e-cigarettes with the youth.

“It was concerning that teens where using these as a statement thought their teen lives and when they were being caught it was affecting their records,” said Councilmember Alberto Torres.

This initiative was to help stop of teens from using e-cigarettes by making tobacco shops at a further distance from where teens spend most of their time, at school.

“We are proposing that our legal team help us keep them away from the schools and eliminate the proximity or the reach of the youth having access to these places,” said Torres.

Torres does say that those with established businesses don’t have to worry, this change would only affect future businesses.

The ordinance was passed on Monday night by city council to begin outlining the restrictions but it’s unclear when they will have these plans laid out for the future.

According to the CDC and the FDA, e-cigarettes and vaping products that contain nicotine and THC products should not be consumed by children, young adults, or pregnant women.

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