NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In just the past few months, Richardson city leaders say one kind of business seems especially interested in setting up shop — e-cigarette retailers. Currently there are eight of the stores in the city.
In the business of electronic cigarettes storeowner Tim Faukner thinks, “It’s a healthier alternative.” Tim’s business Vaporescene is a pioneer.
Opened two years ago, it was the first such store in the city of Richardson. Today it’s one of many in a fairly small geographic area.
The store Coexist Vapor opened two weeks ago. Owner Randy Bayes says he was sold on starting an e-cigarettes business when after 30 years of trying to quit smoking — he finally accomplished the goal after switching to vapor.
“I’ve come across a lot of people who had the same experience,” he said. “Most smokers don’t want to be a smoker but they end up starting at a young age and they don’t know how to put it down.”
While retailers may view the opportunity as an economic boom, the City of Richardson is worried about a potential bust. The city council is considering requiring a special use permit for all new e-cigarettes stores.
Assistant City Manager Don Magner said, “We just want to make sure that it is appropriate for that location and that it will complement the other businesses and it’s something we can be proud of — that the community can support.”
The City of Richardson isn’t the only place grappling with questions about regulation. Monday evening, the City of Mansfield voted to put a stop on all new stores for six months. Leaders said that will give them time to figure out if regulations are needed.
“I just think they don’t know what it’s about and they just associate it with cigarettes,” Faukner claimed.
Retailers say it’s the fear of the unknown that has raised the worry. They are convinced that once cities learn more about the product everyone will ‘breathe’ in the benefits.
Cities across North Texas are seeing more e-cigarette stores going up. In Richardson the lure for all of the locations seems to be the highway. Most of the new e-cigarette stores in that city are located right off of Central Expressway.