FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794
Bosworth & Town Board Approve Tobacco Legislation Prohibiting Sale of Tobacco Products to Those Under 21
North Hempstead joins New York City and Suffolk County as municipalities with tougher restrictions
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board voted unanimously this week to prohibit the sale of tobacco products, liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21 in order to deter adolescents and young adults from using tobacco and related products. North Hempstead joins New York City and Suffolk County as local municipalities that have raised the age to 21. According to Supervisor Bosworth, the legislation to raise the age was inspired by the late Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, who passed away on September 13.
The legislation was sponsored by the Supervisor and the entire Town Board.
“Judy was a passionate advocate for anti-smoking issues and she supported Tobacco 21 legislation, so this seems like a fitting tribute to her memory,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “Her persistence in trying to get this law passed in Nassau County was certainly an inspiration for us here in the Town.”
The law will not apply to villages within the Town of North Hempstead, however, the Supervisor has stated that she is “hopeful that the villages will follow suit.” The legal age to purchase tobacco and tobacco products in the rest of Nassau County remains 19 years of age.
According to the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center increasing the minimum legal consumer age for tobacco sales to 21 years will delay and potentially prevent smoking initiation.
Adolescents and young adults are particular susceptible to addiction, to the chemically addictive effects of tobacco and related products. According to reports from Center for Disease Control, nearly 90 percent of those addicted to tobacco started using it before the age of 21.
Michael Seilback, Vice President, Public Policy & Communications for the American Lung Association, Northeast said: "The American Lung Association applauds North Hempstead for joining New York City, the counties of Suffolk, Albany, Cattaraugus, Cortland, Chautauqua, and Schenectady in passing laws raising the legal sale age of tobacco products to 21 years old. Well over 50 percent of New York’s population is now covered by laws where the legal sales age is 21 years old. It is time for our leaders in Albany to pass a statewide Tobacco 21 bill when they reconvene in January.”
“I believe that this legislation will also address the growing rate of e-cigarettes use among youth, which expose users to unhealthy levels of nicotine and other harmful chemicals,” said Supervisor Bosworth.
Penalties for store owners violating the law include “a minimum of three hundred dollars, but not to exceed one thousand dollars for a first violation, and a minimum of five hundred dollars, but not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars for each subsequent violation…”
The law goes into effect March, 1, 2017.