Chesterfield sets new zoning rules for future tobacco, vape shops
The measures were passed by the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors during their meeting on April 26
CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Future tobacco and vape stores that set up shop in Chesterfield will have new rules to follow as part of an effort to keep these establishments in commercial areas of the county.
The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance amendment during their meeting on April 26, designed to keep these types of shops at a distance from schools and parks.
“We really wanted to get a better control on where those shops were going and the appropriate commercial areas of Chesterfield County,” said Andy Gillies, planning director for Chesterfield. “We’ve seen an increase in these types of shops coming into Chesterfield.”
Under the new rules, future tobacco and vape shops would be required to be at least 2,000 feet away from a school or park. The stores would also need to keep the same amount of distance away from existing tobacco and vape shops.
Gillies said these new measures come at a time when county officials hope to address worries about the proximity of these stores to students.
“We’ve had calls from concerned parents. We’ve had calls from concerned citizens. We even had calls from teachers basically that are saying having these types of shops close to a school has caused problems,” Gillies told NBC12.
Under the presentation given to the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors, Gillies presented several research students about the impacts of these products on the youth.
One research article from John Hopkins Medicine cites a 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey that said more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021.
A CDC report also showed disposable e-cigarette use increased 1,000% among high school students and 400% among middle school students since 2019.
“We found that that there were some studies that showed that having a close proximity of these types of shops to a school or a park really did increase adolescent and vulnerable population use of those types of materials,” Gillies said.
The hours of operation for these new stores would be limited to 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday. These new rules only apply to future tobacco and vape shops and have already taken effect.
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