CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The City of Conway is considering putting potential zoning restrictions on vape shops in the future. The topic was brought up at a city council workshop in February.
However, some of the city’s vape shops say the vaping industry is misunderstood.
Lisa Pacay and Edward Parker opened up their shop The Vape Monkey in Conway after using vaping to quit smoking cigarettes several years ago.
They say their health and overall well-being has inproved since.
“I know my body has healed. I can tell in my breathing, I can tell in how I taste things; I can tell in my everyday life that going from two packs of cigarettes a day to literally one milligram of nicotine is astronomical,” Pacay said.
Pacay and Parker say there are a lot of misconceptions about vaping, including its health risks and the amount of nicotine it contains.
“Most people want to go ahead and they wanna put us with tattoo parlors and stuff like that, and that’s unfair. We have a lot of families that come in here who are really trying to quit smoking to better their health; to be around their children,” Pacay said.
Pacay makes all of the vape liquid sold at The Vape Monkey from food-grade ingredients, and her customers can pick their own flavors and the amount of nicotine inside the product.
She says they do not sell any of their merchandise to anyone underage.
While Conway has not passed any ordinances that put restrictions on vape shops, a bill in the statehouse might stop them before the get the chance.
If the bill becomes law, it would forbid any city in South Carolina from passing ordinances governing vape products and the stores that sell them.
Pacay says the bill would help small business owners like herself.
“You want to be an entrepreneur, you want to be able to start your own business, you should have the opportunity of everyone else out there to be able to do those things. When you started placing people in certain areas just because you don’t like the look of it, that doesn’t even make any sense,” Pacay said.
“I think (the state is) kinda looking out for the small business people. We’re just trying to run a business, just like anybody else.”
The state bill is currently in committee.