HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – It may seem like vape and tobacco shops are popping up all across our region. Monday night, the city of Huntington brought up a proposal to keep these shops away from places for children.

During the Huntington City Council meeting, council members discussed updating regulations on smoke and tobacco shops and part of that could mean restricting how close they can be to schools.

Right now, there are 13 tobacco and vape shops that fall under the category of “retail sales and services.” However, if this new ordinance is approved, this would change that classification to “smoke shop/tobacco store.”

In addition to this, new shops would also have to be distanced 1,500 feet from the nearest school, daycare, or other smoke shops.

Councilmember Pat Jones spoke with 13 News after the meeting, saying he is not against tobacco and vape shops coming to this area. However, he says he believes there should be limits to where they can be located, especially when it comes to possibly influencing the younger generation.

“To come out of a school building and see all those colorful lights and everything that they use, impressionable children can be lured or enticed into using their product,” Jones says.

The ordinance goes on to say that any shop owner who would want to bypass these regulations would have to attend a “conditional use permit hearing” or request a variance to the distance requirement.

Council members voted to send the ordinance to a second reading so they can discuss the subject further.