If you live anywhere in the city, chances are that you have an electronic cigarette shop located near you. The e-cig has become wildly popular, and as with any product of this nature is mired in controversy. There are those who love it because they were able to kick the traditional cigarette habit, or simply enjoy puffing on an e-cig anywhere they go. Then there are those who hate it because they feel that smokers are once again infiltration their lives.
As studies continue, to see how harmful e-cigs really are (or aren’t), the backlash against the new product is coming from various sources. Recently, South District Councilmember Christopher P. Scanlon filed a resolution with the Buffalo Common Council that could change the nature of how e-cig shops are established. Until now there has been no significant regulation, due to the e-cig craze springing up virtually over night. Now Scanlon (and others) is saying that the e-cig sellers should be required to apply for restricted use permits, which would then warrant Common Council approval. The permit and licensing application would allow the City, as well as community stakeholders, to regulate new shops that are intending to open.
“E-cigarette shops are literally popping up overnight in South Buffalo,” said Scanlon. “I am not necessarily opposed to these shops, but I do think there needs to be community input because right now, there’s an oversaturation in the market. With the restricted use permit requirement in place, councilmembers will be able to speak with residents and stakeholders in the surrounding area and assess what type of impact the business will have on the community before approving or denying the permit. I applaud my colleagues in county government for their efforts in establishing fact finding sessions to address the issues surrounding e-cigarettes, as well as their discussions focused on potentially restricting the use of these devices in venues that are currently 100% smoke free.”
As for a timeline on all of this, Scanlon’s office expects that the resolution will be adopted at the September 30th Buffalo Common Council meeting.