Monday, January 21, 2019

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New vape shop to open in Mahopac despite moratorium

MAHOPAC – Concerns have exploded over new health risks regarding vaping or the inhaling and exhaling of aerosol produced in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Despite the Carmel Town Board approving a local law last fall to establish a moratorium on the issuance of building permits or certificates of occupancy for the construction, establishment or operation of any new “smoke shops” or “vape shops” within the municipalities’ limits, by a 4-3 vote, the Carmel Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a variance to the owners of the Imperial Smoke and Vape Shop in Mahopac to open their new business since the owners, Ann and Nick Mgeladze, had signed a lease in April 2018 to open their shop five months before the moratorium was enacted.

The entrepreneurs advised board members that they had spent more than $75,000 on their new venture for rent, inventory, advertising and equipment in addition to hiring personnel. Yet, when they attempted to get a permit from the town to open the store in late 2018, they were rejected due to the moratorium.

However, after much discussion and soul searching, the ZBA granted the applicant the permit resulting from “substantial expenditures incurred by the owners” by the narrow margin.

The Imperial Smoke and Vape Shop located on Route 6 in Mahopac will be the seventh such business in the town.

Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt described risks from vaping as “potentially catastrophic with nicotine addiction or popcorn lung permanently scarring tissue on the lung common. A Harvard study found that 39 of 51 e-juices tested contained chemicals including formaldehyde and propylene glycol used in anti-freeze that can cause cancer.”

In Mahopac, school officials called vaping the “bane of our existence with 15 to 20 incidents being reported each week. Types of devices used are easy to conceal. There is no smoke or smell. It has become very difficult for administrators to catch the young people.”

Carmel school officials agreed. “The discrete nature of certain vape products has high school administrators chasing ghosts throughout the building.”

Medical experts have indicated that some ‘vapers’ complained of bleeding mouths and throats with the bloody sores slow to heal. A team of physicians at the University of Rochester recently determined that vaping can also result in gum disease and often destroy tissues that hold teeth into place.


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