Buffalo considers moratorium on new vape shops

Sep 4, 2019

Buffalo lawmakers are considering a six-month moratorium on the opening of new vape shops, the stores that sell e-cigarettes and supplies.

The shops have been an issue for years, like the fight in Erie County government over applying the same rules to them that had been applied to tobacco products.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The e-cigs use a variety of ingredients, whether from commercial operations or mixes users prepare themselves. Now there are serious questions about health risks, not only long-term like tobacco, but also short-term.

Common Council member Joel Feroleto is leading the charge for a moratorium on more shops while health risks are evaluated.

"What we've seen in the past few weeks is a health advisory from the New York State Department of Health and the CDC, for at least an investigation notice," he said, "and they're both citing hundreds of cases of unexplained severe pulmonary illness and they are linking all of these cases to vaping and e-cigarettes."

Feroleto, who is a lawyer, said the moratorium would not affect the dozen or so city shops currently selling vaping materials. Some sell them as the focus of the store, while others sell vaping compounds as part of a much larger array of sales materials.

"We can issue a moratorium for a fixed amount of time," said the Delaware District representative. "So that's why the Law Department is going to be filing something for the Council."

Vapers often say the devices can help people stop smoking tobacco.