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Hempstead councilwoman calls hearing on restricting ads for e-cigs, other products

A man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago

A man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago on April 23, 2014. Credit: AP/Nam Y. Huh

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney called for a public hearing on restricting advertisements for electronic cigarettes and other “age-restricted products” near schools, parks and other places where children congregate, according to a town news release.

King Sweeney cited the health hazards that e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, pose to children and teenagers.

“We need to do everything in our power to limit the exposure that young people have to advertising of these products. The more they see it, the more they think it is okay and we know full well that is not the case,” she said in a statement.

The New York State Department of Health describes e-cigarette use among young people as "a major public health concern," as the nicotine they contain is very addictive and can be harmful to developing brains. The rate of e-cigarette use among young people in the state has nearly doubled from 10.5 percent in 2014 to 20.6 percent in 2016, according to the health department.

The Hempstead Town Board in September voted to require businesses that sell electronic cigarettes to post signs warning that they contain nicotine that is addictive and that smoking them can be a health hazard.

Violators of the proposed restrictions could face fines of up to $1,000, according to the release.

The public hearing would take place on June 11.

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