Will South Orange Reconsider the Code which Allows for Vape Lounges?

The health issues related to vaping are becoming better documented by the month.
Now the city of Milwaukee has issued a health alert and is urging its residents to stop vaping.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/city-milwaukee-urges-residents-stop-vaping-immediately-102400000--abc-news-topstories.html

The city of Milwaukee issued a health alert Wednesday urging residents to stop vaping"immediately," after at least 16 people were hospitalized with severe lung disease this month.

The individuals all reported using vape products or dabbing -- which is the vaping of marijuana oils, extracts or concentrates -- in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized. They were diagnosed with severe chemical pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs due to aspirating or inhaling of irritants, according to a press release from the city's health department. The specific products used were unknown.


I thought South Orange's decision to change its municipal code to allow vaping lounges was a big mistake when it happened.  It now looks like an even worse decision.  

Will S.O. reconsider?

https://villagegreennj.com/business/hookah-and-vape-lounges-other-uses-now-permitted-in-south-orange-village/

Hookah and vape lounges — along with a number of other new commercial uses — will now be permitted in South Orange Village Center after the South Orange Village Board of Trustees voted 4-3 to approve changes to the business code on Monday, August 13.

The changes were the result of a multi-year effort to review and revise the town’s business code, led by the South Orange Village Center Alliance. and its code review task force. SOVCA Executive Director Bob Zuckerman noted in the latest edition of the Village Vibe email newsletter, “This new ordinance brings this part of our municipal code into the 21st century and will be a big help to us in our business recruitment efforts.”


yahooyahoo said:

The health issues related to vaping are becoming better documented by the month.
Now the city of Milwaukee has issued a health alert and is urging its residents to stop vaping.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/city-milwaukee-urges-residents-stop-vaping-immediately-102400000--abc-news-topstories.html

The city of Milwaukee issued a health alert Wednesday urging residents to stop vaping"immediately," after at least 16 people were hospitalized with severe lung disease this month.

The individuals all reported using vape products or dabbing -- which is the vaping of marijuana oils, extracts or concentrates -- in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized. They were diagnosed with severe chemical pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs due to aspirating or inhaling of irritants, according to a press release from the city's health department. The specific products used were unknown.


I thought South Orange's decision to change its municipal code to allow vaping lounges was a big mistake when it happened.  It now looks like an even worse decision.  

Will S.O. reconsider?

https://villagegreennj.com/business/hookah-and-vape-lounges-other-uses-now-permitted-in-south-orange-village/

Hookah and vape lounges — along with a number of other new commercial uses — will now be permitted in South Orange Village Center after the South Orange Village Board of Trustees voted 4-3 to approve changes to the business code on Monday, August 13.

The changes were the result of a multi-year effort to review and revise the town’s business code, led by the South Orange Village Center Alliance. and its code review task force. SOVCA Executive Director Bob Zuckerman noted in the latest edition of the Village Vibe email newsletter, “This new ordinance brings this part of our municipal code into the 21st century and will be a big help to us in our business recruitment efforts.”

 Have you brought this to the attention of the SO BOT?


Here is Sheena's feedback from a thread I started last September about the same topic.  My point was that it's a public health issue but Sheena did not address the part of the debate:


Neighbors - sorry I'm late to the discussion. There was a similar post on Nextdoor that I responded to so I'm just going to copy and paste to make it a little easier. The premise is "why is South Orange is trying to recruit hookah or tattoo parlors" and that the poster would much rather see a "Gap" or "Panera" - the following is my response.

_______________________________________________________

As with any "blurb" in an article - the extent of changes will never be captured with a multi-year process, public meetings, and review of best practices. Types of businesses are considered "permitted uses" and can be acceptable (or even conditional) in certain designated zones. Our Master Plan or Village Code does not specify that land is zoned for any particular type of establishment. We zone for a permitted primary use of "retail" (Gap) which has it's own regulations with respect to building codes and parking requirements or we zone for "restaurants" (Panera) which has it's own regulations based on patrons, usable floor area, kitchen, etc. Both are currently already permitted and are welcome to come here. The Business Code Review Task Force looked at a variety of existing uses established decades ago and updated our uses to reflect this point in time. It does not mean anyone is recruiting a "tattoo shop" or a "hookah lounge" or that those will ever come to fruition. It means that if those uses come in, they won't need a use variance or be rejected due to the nature of their business alone. Just as important in relation to zoning and permitted uses are the economics of any businesses model. I'll provide a couple examples suggested in this thread. Both Gap and Panera (I love them both) have existing requirements that relate to proximity of other stores - I.e. Gap is in Short Hills Mall and Panera is in Essex Green. Both have a massive surplus of on-site parking and are located along major corridors. You'll also find that if the parking requirements aren't met or near major commercial strips, they're firmly planted in very dense districts with a great deal of pedestrian traffic. Stores like this (or Anthropology or Applebees) either need lots of vehicular traffic and parking for cars or lots of people in walking proximity which would lessen their reliance on dedicated parking. To the point of a tattoo shop - whether someone is pro or anti-tattoo is somewhat irrelevant because the market will decide whether that type of business can succeed in South Orange. I've seen some people think of run down locations with ink and dirty needles and others have seen beautiful art galleries that have tattoo artists. At a price point of $35 triple net in our commercial districts, there's a greater probability of the latter. As for hookah, this is obviously an adult oriented activity and again, with the economics, unless it's tied to a restaurant (typically Mediterranean) it's unlikely at our rents that a $20 hookah for 5 people for an hour would allow it's sole existence to succeed and be profitable. However, if a restaurant also offered hookah as a part of the experience for adults and complied with the smoke free air act (required), it's completely viable. It's not everyone's cup of tea but the market will determine whether it's successful.
More probable uses that were previously rejected as non-permitted uses include: Pinot's Palette (a paint and sip establishment), a kid's gym which was interested in the former Blockbuster Space, an arcade targeted at families with food on site, and real estate offices that feature our housing market which were previously made to be non-permitted.

I hope that's helpful for you (and others) in understanding at least what the Code Review was about and provides some context behind some of the decisions. This is only one component of a very comprehensive review of all things impacting our business community. We also established a Design Review Board last year (doing great work) to assist new businesses in making sure storefronts look great (a lot of disasters avoided) and the customer service of doing business in town is also critical to retention and attraction.


Regarding a hookah lounge: To comply with the smoke free air act, 50%+ of the sales must be from tobacco.That's a big nut to carry. I have only been in one. It is an Afghan restaurant on 13th street in East Village. About 5 years ago, they instituted a hookah section. Tobacco smoke permeated the entire restaurant. I never went back.

Regarding a vaping lounge, given the new information about its harmful properties, the zoning code should be corrected to remove vaping as a permitted activity.

Sheena  --- Update?


I do not live in SO, nor do I know Sheena. But perhaps someone who does might give her a quick tutorial on "its" versus "it's"?


Im wondering if you’ll find this article interesting? Similar debates over here, where tobacco-enhanced vaping is illegal. Further into the article is a fair bit about Philip Morris’ influence in the sector, which is something I reckon most people wouldn’t even know about and might think twice about.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/nanny-state-critics-behind-the-vaping-debate/11449806 


Heynj said:

I do not live in SO, nor do I know Sheena. But perhaps someone who does might give her a quick tutorial on "its" versus "it's"?

 She's pretty damn smart and the best VP we have had in a long time.  If that is your best input I am glad that you don't live here.  I hope that you are this helpful in your own town.


FilmCarp said:

 She's pretty damn smart and the best VP we have had in a long time.  If that is your best input I am glad that you don't live here.  I hope that you are this helpful in your own town.

 fwiw, my keyboard keeps changing "its" to "it's" and "well" to "we'll" and sometimes I don't catch it. 


ml1 said:

FilmCarp said:

 She's pretty damn smart and the best VP we have had in a long time.  If that is your best input I am glad that you don't live here.  I hope that you are this helpful in your own town.

 fwiw, my keyboard keeps changing "its" to "it's" and "well" to "we'll" and sometimes I don't catch it. 

 This. 


From what I've gleaned it seems that the vaping-related illnesses are likely caused by contaminants/additives in the product being vaped, and not the method of ingestion.  I think/hope this may be an indication that products like medical marijuana are safe.  Would like us not to go overboard with regs until more facts are known.


It is now clear that 'utes are becoming addicted to vaping by-products. 


We could be looking at Cigarettes Part Deux but most people are like, meh, let's not tell people what to do or buy.  In the meantime, vaping companies are using deceptive marketing to do just that.


https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/09/04/michigan-bans-flavored-e-cigarettes/2207061001/

Michigan will become the first state in the nation to ban flavored vape products in a move Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says is aimed at protecting youth.

The ban,which will be imposed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through direction from Whitmer, prohibits online and retail sales of flavored nicotine vaping products.

The move comes not by executive order from Whitmer, but through Michigan's administrative rules process, which allows state agencies to create regulations or policies that, once authorized, act as laws.

The vaping ban rule has not yet been filed, but will be effective immediately once complete in a few weeks, Whitmer's spokesperson said. At that point, the ban will last six months, and will give Michigan businesses 30 days to comply.

The ban comes after the MDHHS found that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency for the state, according to a statement from Whitmer.  (my emphasis on the last line)


nakaille said:

From what I've gleaned it seems that the vaping-related illnesses are likely caused by contaminants/additives in the product being vaped, and not the method of ingestion.  I think/hope this may be an indication that products like medical marijuana are safe.  Would like us not to go overboard with regs until more facts are known.

 I would offer this counter-argument: these products shouldn't be allowed until more facts are known. 

Vaping seems to have gained a lot of traction as an alternative to smoking because we know a tremendous amount about the health risks of inhaling the smoke from burning tobacco leaves. It seems like we're in the infancy of knowing the risks of inhaling hot vapor laced with any number of substances. 

I know one argument is that it's a way for people to manage a nicotine addiction without the health risks of smoking. But it's trading a known risk for a much less well-quantified risk.


Inhaling ANY foreign substance into your lungs could be bad for your lungs. It depends on frequency and dose.  

Otherwise healthy young people are coming down with serious lung conditions and the common thread is vaping.  People think vaping is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  I would argue that perhaps it's a "less dangerous" alternative to smoking but there are still very serious side effects.


yahooyahoo said:

Inhaling ANY foreign substance into your lungs could be bad for your lungs. It depends on frequency and dose.  

Otherwise healthy young people are coming down with serious lung conditions and the common thread is vaping.  People think vaping is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  I would argue that perhaps it's a "less dangerous" alternative to smoking but there are still very serious side effects.

That's a given.  And there are already lots of commercial outlets dedicated to the sale and consumption of alcohol, which definitely "could be bad for" your health, as well.  


nohero said:

yahooyahoo said:

Inhaling ANY foreign substance into your lungs could be bad for your lungs. It depends on frequency and dose.  

Otherwise healthy young people are coming down with serious lung conditions and the common thread is vaping.  People think vaping is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  I would argue that perhaps it's a "less dangerous" alternative to smoking but there are still very serious side effects.

That's a given.  And there are already lots of commercial outlets dedicated to the sale and consumption of alcohol, which definitely "could be bad for" your health, as well.  

Our society decided a long time ago to make alcohol legal.  The long-term health effects are well known.

Vaping as we know it has been in the U.S. approximately 10 or 12 years.  Why go down the same path as regular cigarettes when we have a chance to do something about vaping it now?  I would support regulation of vaping as prescribed solution for people who want to quit smoking.  However, I don't support the marketing of these products to teenagers/young adults who were not smokers. 


yahooyahoo said:

nohero said:

yahooyahoo said:

Inhaling ANY foreign substance into your lungs could be bad for your lungs. It depends on frequency and dose.  

Otherwise healthy young people are coming down with serious lung conditions and the common thread is vaping.  People think vaping is a "safe" alternative to smoking.  I would argue that perhaps it's a "less dangerous" alternative to smoking but there are still very serious side effects.

That's a given.  And there are already lots of commercial outlets dedicated to the sale and consumption of alcohol, which definitely "could be bad for" your health, as well.  

Our society decided a long time ago to make alcohol legal.  The long-term health effects are well known.

Vaping as we know it has been in the U.S. approximately 10 or 12 years.  Why go down the same path as regular cigarettes when we have a chance to do something about vaping it now?  I would support regulation of vaping as prescribed solution for people who want to quit smoking.  However, I don't support the marketing of these products to teenagers/young adults who were not smokers. 

 I was on the "Allow for Vape Lounges?" topic, not on the state or federal governments banning all vaping.




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