Take the smokes somewhere else

Last week I went to pick something up at CVS pharmacy and, much to my surprise, I saw signage for a new smoke shop.

To be honest, I was shocked. Just a few years ago there was uproar over a liquor store going in across the street; it never happened. So when I saw the signage for a new smoke shop, I was taken aback.

A smoke shop less than a mile away from Oak Park High School and Medea Creek Middle School, along with three nearby elementary schools, is just a bad idea.

The latest statistics around vaping are clear: about 37 percent of 12th-graders admitted to vaping within the last year, an increase from 27 percent in 2017.

And let’s be honest, who wants to live near a smoke shop? I did not move to this idyllic city more than 18 years ago to drive by a vape and cigar store every day. It’s practically next door to the local pizza and donut shops and just across the parking lot from Starbucks Coffee, frequently visited by the many kids attending Oak Park schools— what a smart move by the owners of the smoke shop establishment.

We’re so blessed that our community did not completely burn from the recent wildfires, but now I fear that our amazing town may be going “up in smoke” before our very eyes. Where is the uproar now?

Daphne Yousem
Oak Park

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