Vape shops granted exemption by city

The city’s newest smoking ordinance became official Wednesday, with one change since aldermen passed it 30 days ago — vapers will be allowed to vape in vaping shops.

Bill Wikstrom of Vaporized, joined by the owners of Brookhaven Vapery, addressed the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Tuesday night to request an exemption to the ordinance they’d passed a few weeks earlier.

The board voted unanimously 4-0 April 22 to approve a comprehensive ordinance covering workplaces and public places in the city and to vacate the previous ordinance. Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore, Ward 3 Alderwoman Mary Wilson and Ward 5 Alderman Fletcher Grice did not attend the special-called meeting.

Several big changes to the previous ordinance include no smoking in hotel and motel rooms, private clubs and parks within the city limits and a limit on how close smoking is allowed within the entrance to a public building. It also made it illegal in Brookhaven to smoke in a tobacco shop or vape in a vaping shop and takes away a business’s right to opt out of the ordinance. 

The ordinance does not affect those who chew tobacco or dip snuff.

The board took Wikstrom’s comments under advisement and discussed it further in executive session. After the closed-door meeting, which Mayor Joe Cox said was necessary since the discussion included potential litigation, the board voted 4-1 to allow vaping in the two shops already in business in Brookhaven as well as any future vape shops that may open. Alderwoman-at-Large Karen Sullivan was the lone “no” vote and Ward 3 Alderwoman Mary Wilson had already left the meeting before the vote was taken.


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