FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2017
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North Hempstead Gears Up for March 1, 2017 Launch of Tobacco 21
Tobacco Legislation Will Prohibit Sale of Tobacco Products to Those Under 21
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board are gearing up for the March 1 launch of Tobacco 21, the new Town law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. The law will go into effect on March 1, 2017 and violators will be subject to fines. The prohibition will be on sales to those under the age of 21. The new Town law applies in place of the Nassau County ban on sale to those under the age of 19. North Hempstead joins New York City and Suffolk County as local municipalities that have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco 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.
“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.”
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. The Town hopes that the legislation will limit the exposure of youth to unhealthy levels of nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
The Town has mailed each store that sells tobacco products a letter notifying them of the start date of the new law; a copy of the legislation; and a copy of the Town Code language to post in their store. A representative from the Town’s Code Enforcement Department will also personally visit each store to provide the same information.
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.
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…”