Press release from the Town of Hempstead:
March 16, 2021
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin joined with members of the Town Board, community leaders and school officials today in front of an Elmont smoke shop to announce proposed legislation aimed against the sales of vaping products and e-cigarettes to children and teens. Clavin made the announcement with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray, Receiver Jeanine Driscoll and Hempstead Town Medical Director Dr. Dave Neubert. Also joining the officials was Tiffany Capers, an Elmont school board trustee and staunch advocate for stronger anti-vaping regulations, Elmont High School Principal Kevin Dougherty and Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent James Grossane.
Collaborating with members of the Town Board and community leaders, Clavin crafted legislation that would prohibit retail sales of vaping or e-Cigarette products within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or park. Supervisor Clavin crafted a second bill that proposes a pivotal zoning change restricting the opening of tobacco businesses – including those selling vape or e cigarette products – to the light manufacturing or industrial zoning districts. That law would also prohibit those businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, park or playground.
“Health and safety are certainly in the public eye more than ever, and we’re taking action to protect children and teens from accessing vaping products and e-cigarettes, which pose a danger to our youth,” Clavin said. “Under this proposed legislation, we seek to restrict the sale of vaping and e-cigarettes and the opening of businesses that peddle these harmful products from places where children are most likely to congregate – local schools, parks and playgrounds.”
“The prevalence of vaping and e-cigarettes use among underage children is not only alarming, it is dangerous,” said Capers. “As a parent and a school board trustee, I am truly concerned about more students getting their hands on these harmful products, and we need to stop vaping and e-cigarette retailers from targeting the youth in our communities. Thank you to Supervisor Clavin and the Town Board for taking the lead to propose strong legislation to help us in this fight to protect generations of students from the health risks posed by vaping products and e-cigarettes.”
The legislation expands upon the Town of Hempstead’s Anti-Vaping Action Plan, unveiled by Clavin and the Town Board in 2020, which includes boosted code enforcement efforts, an educational anti-vaping forum series at local schools and libraries, a multimedia ad campaign and a commitment to strengthening regulations to protect children from the harmful products.
The new legislation would build on existing anti-vaping town codes, including “No vaping” signage in all town parks and beaches and a requirement of businesses that sell vapes and e-cigarettes to post proper signage stating potential health hazards of the products.
Under the law restricting sales of vaping products and e-cigarettes, business within 1,000 feet of a school, park or playground would be mandated to comply no later than October 1, 2021. The amendment to the Town’s Building Zone Ordinance would include “tobacco businesses” or “Retail electronic cigarette stores” or a place that is used for the retail sales of “tobacco products,” and/or “herbal cigarettes” and/or electronic cigarettes and/or vapor products either with or without accessory products. A public hearing on the two proposals would be held at the March 23rd Town Board meeting.
“We take the medical reports and research of medical professionals about the harmful effects of vaping very seriously,” Clavin said. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on the Town Board, as well as community leaders like Tiffany Capers, to introduce legislation intended to protect the health of the children in our communities. This is another important step in our fight against youth vaping and e-cigarettes.”
This press release was produced by the Town of Hempstead. The views expressed here are the author’s own.