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Plan To Change Tobacco Retailer Definition Could Increase Retailers In Phoenix

Encanto Village meeting
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Encanto Village Planning Committee hears a proposal about changing the definition of tobacco retailers in Phoenix.

The City of Phoenix is considering changing the way tobacco retailers are defined.

If the plan is approved, it could increase the number of businesses that fall under the definition. It could also add distance between new shops and places where children are likely to gather.

During a Monday night meeting of the Encanto Village Planning Committee, City Planner Craig Mavis told members they are the first to publicly hear the plan.The proposal includes amending the definition of a tobacco oriented retailer to:

  • include electronic nicotine delivery systems
  • include vape lounges
  • decrease floor space from 15 percent for the sale/display of tobacco-related products to 5 percent.

The plan also calls for new retailers to stay a quarter mile away from places where kids hang out, like recreation centers. Right now, the distance is 500 feet. 
"The thought is, by increasing the separation, maybe the temptation or the actual availability of the product will be a little more difficult," Mavis told the committee.

Existing businesses would be exempt. All 15 of the city's urban village planning committees are being asked to provide input before the planning commission's vote, which is scheduled for February 11. Any changes must be approved by the city council.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.