The City of Maple Ridge has banned future vape stores from opening. (The News files)

No more vape stores for Maple Ridge

Mayor says it is in the interest of community safety

The City of Maple Ridge has banned any new vape retail stores from opening shop in town.

The bylaw amendment is to be effective immediately.

Currently there are three vaping stores in the city, all located in the town centre area.

These outlets are to be, “grandfathered with legal, non-conforming status”.

“Essentially that just means they are allowed to continue operating,” explained Mick Ramos, communications for the City of Maple Ridge.

“If they were ever to move or let their business license go and reapply, then obviously the new rules would apply,” he said, noting they won’t be forced to close.

Provincially-licensed tobacco retailers that sell vaping products will also be unaffected.

READ MORE: An honest conversation about vaping

“Council is once again acting in the interest of community safety to protect young people from these addictive, damaging products,” said Mayor Mike Morden.

This decision by council comes on the heels of a resolution passed in 2019 by the Union of BC Municipalities focused on limiting marketing and sales of vaping products to youth; and a 2020 report by Vancouver Coastal Health that revealed a surge in vaping among youth aged 16 to 19.

READ MORE: Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

“In addition, this prohibition will promote new, open storefronts in our downtown that align with our Town Centre Area Plan,” added Morden.

City staff solicited input from a wide variety of stakeholders – including the Fraser Health Authority and School District 42 – and a public hearing was held in March.

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Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News