CEDAR CITY — Specialty tobacco shops face stronger regulations following actions taken during Wednesday night’s Cedar City Council meeting.
The Council, during its weekly meeting, unanimously approved amendments to a city ordinance regulating local shops selling tobacco and vape products.
The amended ordinance is intended to make it “easier to make an initial determination as to whether a business is a retail tobacco specialty business, and to make it easier to deny licensure to a business that becomes a retail tobacco specialty business once its doors have opened,” the resolution states.
The action came just after the deadline ended on a six-month moratorium on the issuing of business licenses for specialty tobacco shops. The Council had approved the moratorium in March.
There are 42 stores in Iron County currently selling e-cigarettes with more than 30 of those located in Cedar City.
The Iron County Prevention Coalition and the Southwest Public Health Department suggested changes to the ordinance last March, partly in response to the high number of these types of shops in the area.
Under the amended ordinance, the words “tobacco” or “vapor” in the business name or any advertisements will automatically classify the store as a retail tobacco specialty shop.
In addition, stores allocating at least 40 percent of the total floor and shelf space to tobacco products will receive the same classification.
The location of new stores is also more limited under the amended ordinance and will be required to be more than 1,000 feet away from a community location such as schools, playgrounds, churches and recreational facilities. They also have to be 600 feet away from residential areas.
All current businesses will be grandfathered in, which protects the business from having to move to a new location if it is currently located within the boundaries of the amended ordinance.
“We’re hoping to get a control on this issue because we have such a high number of these types of shops,” said Councilman Fred Rowley, following the meeting.
In other business, Cedar City Police Officer Clint Pollock was sworn in as the new sergeant for the department. Pollock was chosen for the position among several other qualified candidates who also applied, said Police Chief Darin Adams.
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