Easy access to local vape shops concerns parents


One vape shop lives across the street from the high school.

Disclaimer: *To protect student identity, certain sources have been given different names.

Turn left at the light. Take another left at the next light, then turn right towards the parking lot and you have arrived. Just half a mile down the street from Kings high school is a vape shop where students attempt purchases without an ID. 

Kings Local School District has 10 vape shops within the area and one that is within walking distance from the high school. Parents and staff are concerned that vaping is an ongoing issue in the district.

Senior Claudia Fay believes an alarming number of vape shops in reach of students can cause more teens to have easier access to vapes.

“I think with having a specifically large number of vape shops in our area some parents might find it uncomfortable because their kids may have easier access to vapes. Another thing that could potentially concern them could just be the temptation for their kids with having so many shops. But at the same time maybe some of them don’t really pay attention to that because they don’t think their kids would try those products,” Fay said.

For parents like Marina Gordeev, having a high number of vape shops can be alarming. She worries about children getting addicted to nicotine.

“Parents should be very concerned with vape shops in the Kings Local Schools District. It is very harmful to a child’s health and their ability to learn. Parents should monitor their kids’ spending and where they go. Nicotine is very addictive and children should not be exposed to it at any age,” Gordeev said.

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that can cause harm to parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control especially for teens due to the brain still being developed.

“Many kids with nicotine addictions will go very far to get that addictive chemical, including walking to a vape shop in order to get it. Addiction is a disease,” Gordeev said.

Warren County Planning and Zoning Director, Sam Hill, told the Knight Times that the Deerfield township board of trustees passed a moratorium in late December prohibiting any new vape/smoke shops from being built in the township. The state has not set any distance restrictions, meaning vape/smoke shops can still legally operate near schools.

“As long as businesses abide by state laws that restrict selling tobacco products and alternative nicotine products like e-cigarette/vaping to patrons under the age of 21, there is not much that can be done to prevent existing shops from operating within the township,” Hill said.

In the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) on e-cigarette use among U.S. youth, more than 2.5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes.

Vape shops are required to ID all buyers, but that doesn’t mean they do. If making more sales means selling to teens, they’ll do it.

“Maybe some workers don’t really care to ID teens, or they may not think vaping is that bad for them so they just let whoever buy them. It’s honestly crazy how easily teens can access vapes,” Fay said.

“I go to VIP, I give them the money, tell them the flavor I want for my vape, and then I walk out. They charge $20 per vape. Sometimes they have deals where you can get 3 for $30 and that’s a steal,” Ryan* said.

Having almost a dozen vape shops might convince teens to want to try vaping.

“It is quite concerning to have that many vape shops in our local district. I think it would be much easier for a kid to get a hand on a cancer stick with the amount in the area,” Henry Reich said.

Should zoning laws affect vape shops?


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