Johns Creek tweaks law to limit vape shops

Vaping would be banned from Milton city parks under an ordinance update pending before the City Council. AJC FILE

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Vaping would be banned from Milton city parks under an ordinance update pending before the City Council. AJC FILE

Johns Creek has tweaked its zoning laws for smoke/vape shops, which includes requiring new businesses to be located in retail shopping centers and not near places of worship and other organizations.

New businesses would have to receive zoning approval from City Council.

Officials approved changes to the ordinance for smoke and vape shops during a Monday meeting.

A 2019 Johns Creek zoning amendment targeted vaping, allowing no more than 25 percent of a store’s floor area to be used for the sale or advertisement of vape-related products. But business owners found ways to work around the law, according to the city, and opened lounge areas in the shops to promote the use of their products.

Last September, Johns Creek issued a six-month moratorium on vape businesses, which ended Monday night.

The amended ordinance differentiates cigar shops from smoke/vape retailers. Smoke shops can sell vapes, hookahs and tobacco related products but cigar shops can’t sell vape or hookah products or e-cigarettes, according to the law.

New smoke and vape shops cannot be located within 100 yards of a place of worship, 200 yards of an academic institution or government building, or 500 yards of another smoke shop.

Under the amended law, cigar shops are defined as businesses that generate at least 60 percent of annual gross sales from hand-rolled cigars and related products.