PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pleasantville school officials are raising alarm bells about a vape shop opening on Wheeler Avenue.
The Glass Room, a vaping shop that sells e-cigarettes and smoking accessories is set to open at 69 Wheeler Avenue, replacing the recently vacated Verizon Store. The store also has locations in Stamford, Port Chester and New Rochelle.
The Pleasantville School Board held a special meeting Monday morning to express their concern about the shop being so close and visible to children, located near Tutor Time, the Girl Scouts, and an 8-minute walk from the high school.
"No one here is saying that they don’t have the legal right to be here," Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said. "We’re asking what’s the responsible thing to do for our children in this community.”
E-cigarette use among teens has risen tenfold in the past decade, rising to 16 percent of teens in 2015, or an estimated three million American teens.
Mayor Peter Scherer said since those products are legally allowed to be sold in New York, there's nothing the village can do to refuse the store.
"Any other storefront can enter without further review," Scherer said. "You cannot outlaw the sale of things as long as they're legal in New York."
Scherer said the village could adopt code similar to New Rochelle which would prohibit the sale of certain items near children, but The Glass Room would be grandfathered in.
In a statement on Facebook, the owners of The Glass Room said they run a clean, respected and legitimate business.
"We are a family run business," Michaelanthony DiFazio said. "Similar to everyone else on the block, we all have families to feed and we are just trying to make a living."
DiFazo said everyone IDed at the door and you must be 18 years or older to enter.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) expressed her solidarity with the parents and officials concerned about the new vaping shop.
“I applaud the Pleasantville Union Free School District for raising concerns regarding the opening of a local vaping store,” Lowey said. “With high levels of formaldehyde and other dangerous and cancer-causing chemicals, and marketing ploys aimed squarely at children, parents and members of the community must do all we can to combat youth smoking and prevent epidemic levels of e-cigarette use."
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