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Salina puts 90-day ban on vapor, hookah bars

SALINA, Kan. (AP) -- No hookah lounges or vapor bars will be able to open in Salina for at least 90 days while city officials study regulations governing the businesses.

The Salina City Commission voted Monday to impose a 90-day ban on the businesses but also voted to allow two vapor bars that recently opened to stay in business.

The Salina Planning Commission is scheduled to begin discussing rules for hookah lounges and vapor bars at its April 1 meeting, The Salina Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1lVBBZ0 ).

City Manager Jason Gage told commissioners that the city's zoning codes don't address such business, which technically makes them illegal in the city. The commission also was told that hookah bars could violate the city's smoking ban if they use tobacco. Vapor bars wouldn't be affected by the ban because they use e-cigarettes.

Sophy Kea, owner of Salina Vape, which opened last weekend, said he doesn't sell tobacco or allow it to be smoked in his store and he doesn't sell to minors. Another vapor bar, Juicy's, opened several weeks ago.

"It looks like they're going out of their way in trying to be legal," said Commissioner Aaron Householter. "If we can fill another downtown space with a soon-to-be-legal business, I'm all for it."

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Information from: The Salina (Kan.) Journal, http://www.salina.com