Vape store owners speak up on including E-Cigarettes to smoke free ordinance


The E-Cigarette phenomenon has swept the country. It’s one that Richmond County including into their smoking ordinance. Some organizations in Columbia County are gathering research to do the same.

One vape store owner is speaking up for all in the county.

It’s a lifestyle that many customers at Sundance Southern Vapors say helped them stop smoking cigarettes.

A customer who started vaping three years ago, Omar Hameen, says, “I started vaping because my child told me that she wanted me to stop smoking because she wanted me around longer.”

They come into the store for more than just buying the product, but organizations in Columbia County are gathering research in hopes to put an end to it.

Owner of Sundance Southern Vapors, Deidra Casey, says, “oh, if they ban it, we are all done. We’re all done.”

The policy issues brought up in a listening session included youth access, but Casey uses a regulated ID scanning system.

“A lot of my customers are well over 40. A lot of them are over 60,” says Casey.

The organizations say vape batteries are just as dangerous, but Casey says vape batteries are simply technology. If you use it wrong, it can be defective.

“We try, and my staff does the same thing to teach people battery safety,” says Casey.

Including E-Cigarettes on a smoke free policy will also include taking away flavor from vapor, something that’s one of Diedra’s top sellers.

“Nobody is going to vape unflavored vapor. It’s just not going to happen. It’s propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.”

Richmond County also has these policies in place, to which Hameen says other local businesses are also effected.

“Some of the policies that have been put in already, like at bars, you can’t vape at bars, I’ve stop visiting those particulars bars,” says Hameen.

Hameen told NewsChannel 6 he knows there are health risks with vaping, but he personally noticed a big difference substituting a vape with a cigarette.

“Oh wow, I can now breathe. I can now run,” says Hameen. All without wheezing.

Richmond County’s ordinance bans people from vaping even in a vape store. Casey says, if the information gathered is presented on a more official level, she hopes for leniency.

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