Just a month after rejecting a proposal to ban colorful e-cigarette advertisements, the North Hempstead town board is still aiming to get tough on e-cigarettes with a law that would prohibit tobacco and e-cigarette sales to those under 21.
The proposed law, which is sponsored by Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, will be discussed at a Nov. 15 public hearing. Bosworth said it offers an “excellent solution” to protect the children of North Hempstead from the ill effects of smoking.
“By restricting the sale itself, instead of just regulating the ads, we will protect the health of our children, regardless of the location of the store selling cigarettes or the color of the ads,” Bosworth said at a recent board meeting.
Over the past few months, the town has taken a stronger stance against e-cigarettes. Following an August vote to restrict vape stores and hookah bars to industrial and business zones, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio proposed a law that would regulate the size, color and location of advertisements for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.
In September, the law was struck down by the town board because of concerns about its constitutionality and future litigation.
Bosworth said the new legislation would “address the same goal that the advertising regulation attempted,” with the additional benefit of applying not just near schools and other public places, but throughout the town.
North Hempstead follows the example of both New York City and Suffolk County, which also banned the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to individuals under 21. Nassau County has yet to pass legislation restricting the sale and use of these products.
De Giorgio said she considered the new proposed law a “win” and is glad the town board is taking the lead to address the issue of teen smoking.
“The children of North Hempstead are the most important thing,” De Giorgio said. “Protecting them is our goal.”