Whitehall News

Tobacco vendors

Council looks to limit times for on-site use


Tobacco vendors in Whitehall that allow customers to consume products on site will have proscribed hours, according to proposed legislation Whitehall City Council is to consider.

"We believe that additional regulations are warranted for businesses that sell tobacco for on-site consumption," Whitehall development director Zach Woodruff said.

Woodruff said he and service director Ray Ogden crafted the ordinance that Woodruff presented during council's Sept. 24 committee meeting.

The ordinance was expected to receive council's first reading Oct. 1 and is expected to have all three readings, Woodruff said.

As proposed, the ordinance would limit the daily hours of operation for businesses in Whitehall that sell tobacco and provide for its on-site consumption. Hours would be restricted to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and would apply only to such businesses that open after the ordinance becomes effective.

Currently, the city has no restrictions on hours of operation for tobacco shops, Woodruff said, adding that most but not all existing retailers maintain hours similar to those proposed in the new legislation.

All existing tobacco retailers are grandfathered and wouldn't be subject to the proposed ordinance.

"The city thinks there should be a differential between tobacco vendors that only sell product and those that sell it and allow for its on-site consumption," Woodruff said.