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Although smoking and sampling is prohibited in Bloomington tobacco shops, e cigs are not included in that restriction, noted Doug Junker, the city's licensing examiner.
Koester encouraged the council to study the product further, explaining that although there are studies cautioning against the use of e Nike Vapormax Blue Navy
Despite that, the standards for each category of use are similar, and the business meets those standards, including parking requirements, according to Markegard. Because of the lounge, the parking standards are higher than a typical retail business, but the strip mall's parking exceeds city code, he noted.
The store does not sell tobacco products, but the products are treated as tobacco under tax law because of the nicotine, Koester noted.
Councilmember Jack Baloga noted that the permit approval requires a finding that the business use of the store wouldn't be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise pose a threat to the safety and welfare of the community. He asked why an e cig store shouldn't be of concern to the council.
The expanded business will serve much the same purpose, according to co owner Tim Koester. By expanding to an adjoining space in the strip mall, Smokeless Smoking will have room to increase its counter and display space while continuing to provide couches and a television in a lounge setting for its customers, as there's a hobbyist aspect to their business, Koester explained.
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Already operating as a retail store with a lounge, the new CUP was needed because of the store's expansion. The expansion of the store was of some interest to the council, which voted 6 1 in favor of it. Of equal, if not greater interest, was the world of electronic cigarettes, and the rules governing their use.
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Although the store is called Smokeless Smoking and the instruments used are commonly referred to as e cigs, the products do not involve smoke, flames or tobacco. E cigs heat liquid, typically flavored and containing nicotine, to create water vapor. Users inhale and exhale the vapor, much like cigarette smoke.
cigs, there are other studies that show the vapor from e cigs is less harmful than the smoke from a cigarette. The product is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as a medical device, but it can be regulated as a tobacco product, he noted. Smokeless Smoking is not a business that looks to attract nonsmokers, he said. Rather, it's a business for people who use cigarettes and have difficulty quitting smoking.
Smokeless Smoking, the Bloomington retail store and lounge for enthusiasts of electronic cigarettes, was granted a conditional use permit to expand, months after it opened at 8563 Lyndale Ave.
"It doesn't fall nicely into any of the three," he said.
E cigs can be used indoors at places where cigarettes are prohibited, which is why Smokeless Smoking has a lounge. It is up to businesses to determine if their use is permitted, according to City Attorney Sandra Johnson, who noted that they could be prohibited inside Bloomington Civic Plaza. At this point, their use is not governed by the Minnesota Clean Air Act, but it could be, she said.
Smokeless is their business, and business is good.
Councilmember Karen Nordstrom, who cast the vote against the CUP, cited a list of concerns raised by the American Lung Association during the council's discussion of the CUP.
people," he said.
Smokeless Smoking has been licensed by the city since it opened, and its business model doesn't fit into any of the categories for retail space in the city, according to Glen Markegard, the city's planning division manger. The business is not considered a place of assembly or an indoor recreation and entertainment facility, he said. Although it's not a restaurant, it does have similarities to a restaurant use, he noted.
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