Sunday, November 27, 2016

Local Alert - Forsyth Co., GA - Take action to oppose over regulation of vapor shops

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The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will be considering an ordinance that would, among other things*, prohibit the use of vapor products inside vapor retail establishments unless they purchase and install unnecessary and expensive filtration systems.

A public hearing has been scheduled for

5:00 PM
Forsyth County Administration Building (Suite 220)

In advance of the public hearing, please take a moment to send a message to county commissioners urging them to oppose this ordinance.
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Take Action - Send a Message
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Please make plans to attend this hearing.

  • Detailed procedures for public hearings, please click here.
  • Detailed procedures for public comments, please click here.
  • Public testimony will be accepted and comments will be limited to three minutes.
  • Prior to speaking, each speaker must sign up by completing a Public Comment form. Forms are available outside the meeting room at 4:30 p.m. when the doors open. The clerk begins accepting the forms five (5) minutes prior to the announced starting time of the meeting. Should you arrive after the start of the meeting and wish to speak, you must first turn in your completed form to the clerk.
  • Suggested talking points for preparing your comments to oppose indoor vaping restrictions can be found here.

You may also want to reach out to council members individually to share your concerns with this proposed ordinance. You can find contact information here.
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* The amended ordinance would include vapor products in the definition of “non-traditional tobacco paraphernalia” and raise the annual licensing fee from $1000 to $2000. This ordinance also sets proximity thresholds for churches and schools of 100 and 200 yards respectively. Approval for a new license will require applicants to pay for surveying to determine the distance of their shop from any churches or schools. There is also a fee associated with a criminal background check. All told, the total cost of acquiring a new license to sell  “non-traditional tobacco paraphernalia” could cost upwards of $3000.

Another provision, Sec. 50-6(h), would require retailers to keep all vapor products out of view of the public in a screened room. This provision is a consequence, although apparently intentional, of redefining “non-traditional tobacco paraphernalia” to include vapor products (rather than giving them a separate designation). Not only does this lack of creativity in regulation conflate vapor products used for nicotine with stigmatized drug delivery devices, but it forces vapor retailers to operate at a disadvantage compared to sellers of “traditional” tobacco products.

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(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.
(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

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