Potential Smoke Shop Opening Causes Opposition from Town of Chenango Residents
Over at 603 River Road in the Town of Chenango, Smart Smoker Vape and Tobacco Shop is looking to open business upon application approval from the town.
However, the possible opening is raising concerns for town residents, as the potential location is only a two-minute walk from Chenango Bridge Elementary School and a four-minute walk from Chenango Valley High School.
Not only is the location minutes away from local schools, it's also a popular after-school spot for many students.
Superintendent Larry Dake says that the potential location is going to be hard for students to avoid considering it falls right in their path.
"You know, when I'm at our high school, at the end of the day, students may be before sports practice," Dake said. "They're coming back or walking over to the red and white or they're walking across the bridge. So this is going to be right here in their paths."
According to the FDA, 14.1% of high school students across the nation use vape products.
Parents of students like Erin Micha are taking part in Town of Chenango board meetings regarding the possible opening of the shop.
Micha hopes that the board is able to continue to support small businesses like smoke shops, but under certain ordinances.
"Being able to state with those ordinances for attention and go and find that either the ordinance would state that it is within 1000 feet of each other. They cannot be within a certain jurisdiction of a school, a park," Micha said.
The application review process for Smart Smoker Vape and Tobacco Shop is still pending and there is no definitive timetable for when a decision will be made.