An ordinance that would ban vape shops has been accepted on first reading by the Alpharetta City Council. AJC FILE/JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

Alpharetta advances measure banning vape shops

An ordinance that declares vape shops to be “a threat to public health, safety and welfare” and bans them from Alpharetta has been accepted on first reading by the City Council.

The council voted 6-1 for an ordinance that would prohibit from all zoning districts “any business whose principal product line for retail sale is alternative nicotine products or vape juice, or both.”

Katie Reeves, an Alpharetta resident and Fulton County School Board member, urged the council to pass the ban, saying vaping devices have found their way into middle and high schools.

“This is just a herculean and impossible task for schools to keep on top of,” Reeves said. “They are literally losing the battle right now.”

Council Member Ben Burnett, who cast the sole vote against the ordinance, said, “I think this is the wrong way to skin it because Altria and Philip Morris at some point will get involved, and they’ll find the votes and they’ll whip them and we will lose. … You have multiple ways to not allow this in the community, and this is not the right one.”

Earlier this year, the Milton City Council amended its zoning code to block new vape shops from opening, and Forsyth County commissioners approved a measure that would enable the county to revoke the liquor license of a store that sells vaping products to minors.

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