The city of Mission is weighing new regulations on shops that sell e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
The upshot: Mission’s finance committee recently directed city staff to develop a presentation on potential rules governing where new tobacco retailers can open in the city.
- The regulations would impose a limit on vape shops from opening up within a certain distance from schools, daycare centers, churches or colleges.
- The idea is modeled off similar limits already in place in Shawnee, Mission City Administrator Laura Smith told the finance committee on Oct. 12.
- Shawnee currently does not allow e-cigarette and tobacco retailers within 200 feet of schools.
How it would work: Mission’s prospective regulations would only apply to new tobacco retailers, which are licensed through the state, Smith said.
- The nine vape shops already in Mission — including a Casey’s that is not yet open on Johnson Drive, two liquor stores, QuikTrip and Hy-Vee — would be grandfathered into any potential regulations.
- Smith said the 200-foot example is what Shawnee currently allows, but that might not be the right distance for Mission, which is a smaller community.
- Additionally, if one of the nine operating vape shops were to close, then a new vape shop could not be opened at that same location if it conflicts with nay new distance regulations.
Background: Smith said Mission already prohibits smoking indoors at any facility in the city.
- She said that deterring youth from tobacco use is something the city has discussed in the past.
- Councilmember Ken Davis, in particular, has been an advocate for this effort, Smith said.
Key quote: “I know that over time I have been an advocate for tobacco-free Kansas, and any way that we can reduce the exposure of youth to vape products and other tobacco products, I think it’s a healthy thing for our community,” Davis said at the meeting.
What happens next?
Mission city staff plans to work on a more thorough presentation to bring back to the city council in December.
- Any new distance regulations would require the city to change its zoning codes, Smith said, and that requires the planning commission to hold a public hearing.
- Smith said that process would take place after the new year if any regulations move forward, and then the regulations would come back to the city council for final approval.