A concerned parent turned to Channel 6 News for help. She and others aren't happy about the way a new tobacco shop is advertising.
The teenagers at 144th and Q streets were doing exactly what they're supposed to do, attract attention. Even the police stopped to ask how old they were. “We aren't doing anything illegal."
“As I am seeing the word 'tobacco' I'm thinking to myself, are those kids even old enough to buy tobacco?” Donita Potter is a retired teacher. “I also substitute so I'm still in contact with a lot of young people."
She and many others are concerned the store 42 Degrees Pipes and Tobacco is trying to attract the wrong clientele with Bryan Elementary School a half-mile away and Millard South High School a mile away. “Those students are so impressionable,” says Potter. “I'm wondering if they really have to do that on that particular corner."
The store owner did not want to be identified. “I have had a few parents call and complain. I told them what it was. I told them I'm sorry they disagree, but this is who we are and what we are gonna do."
Although his shop is called 42 Degrees, which one could assume resembles the counterculture holiday of 4/20 celebrating marijuana use, the owner states emphatically that his shop is about selling tobacco and its paraphernalia.
“I think that they should be concerned about parenting, not worried about what I'm doing, but more worried about what they're doing and how they're raising their kids,” says the owner, who does check for ID even though you don't have to be 18 years old to volunteer your time to advertise for the business. You have to be to buy something there.
The owner hopes to expand his business and will stick by the rules to do so.