A proposed law in Fayetteville, N.C. could force some tobacco retailers out of business. The city is proposing a law that would limit how close tobacco retailers could be to residential areas, churches, schools and other tobacco retailers.
If passed—stores would be divided up into three categories. The least regulated category would be businesses who sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products account for 30 percent of revenue. Businesses who generate between 20 and 30 percent of their revenue from tobacco and related accessories would be in category two. Any retailer who generates sales tobacco but does not fall into the first two categories or sells water pipes and bongs would be placed in the third and most regulated category. Cigar shops would not be exempt from the new rules.
The city is looking into this measure because of the amount of emergency calls it has fielded from tobacco retailers, including everything from petty theft to drug use and even murder. According to The Fayetteville Observer, there were over 13,000 calls in less than a two-year period originating from the roughly 60 retailers who sell tobacco in the city.
Some stores will have to move if the law is passed. It’s unclear how long stores will have to meet compliance.
Fayetteville is located in the central part of the state. It has a population around 200,000 and is home to the U.S. military installation Fort Bragg.