Editorial: Smoke shop isn’t acceptable

It is absolutely unacceptable to have businesses promoting drug use within a 2 minute walk away from our school.

The image it presents is one leaving leeway for students to believe that using hookah as a 14 year old is okay because it’s right by the school so it must not be that bad.

The orange sign enticing students to enter the artificial fruit-smelling store and proclaiming for students to “Keep It Lit” are obvious examples of advertisement of substance use. The lack of an 18 or older sign outside of the shop, though, takes the cake.

How is this legal?

Next to the candy bars, bringing back memories of childhood when sugar was the only sweet we craved and were innocently addicted to, is a machine game where the prize is money. If a winner were to emerge after spending 50 cents on the game of chance, there is a Lucky 7 slot machine adjacent.

Conjoined like slithering twin snakes looking to bite and inject an infectious addiction venom, the inside of the store parallels two different stages of human life so closely together that it is almost offensive.

Kool-aid pouches and Hot Cheetos are sold directly across from Hookah. Students under 18 are able to walk in, see the abundance of pipes and bongs, just to buy a cheap lunchtime snack.

Because from 2011 to 2012 the percentage of 6-12 graders who reported using e-cigarettes increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent, it is fairly obvious that hookah and vape pens are rising in popularity.

There’s enough pressure in school for students to “just have a little taste” of vape and let it wisp from their mouths for entertainment and for the fruitful enslavement of the nose. To have another added weight of peer pressure is pushing the limit. Not only does the store feed off of adolescents and their willingness to experiment, it also promotes gambling.

The slot machines are just another way for students to blow their money. It’s also a way to keep them in the shop longer in hopes a higher purchase will be made.

The placement of smoke shops shouldn’t be anywhere within a school zone. Not only does “Keep It Lit” promote smoking but it also promotes gambling. The opening is not grand. The shop should be relocated or just plain shut down.

It’s time for lights out.