Town to continue hearing on tobacco product advertising regulations

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After passing regulations in August as to where indoor smoking establishments, such as vape shops and hookah bars, could be located, the North Hempstead Town Board has begun the process of regulating the advertising of tobacco and smoking products.
Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who spearheaded the effort to regulate vape shops, said at Tuesday’s board meeting that the purpose of the proposed legislation was to limit children’s exposure to tobacco product advertising.
“I think everybody sort of accepts now, and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has confirmed, that the use of tobacco products and e-cigarette products are particularly harmful to children,” De Giorgio said.
The proposed law aims to prevent the advertising of electronic cigarettes, liquid nicotine and shisha in any outdoor area that is within 500 feet of a child day-care center, park or school.
De Giorgio said the board has looked at multiple CDC studies that both confirm the ill-effects of products that contain nicotine and support its proposed legislation.
While cigarettes are known to be harmful, she said, e-cigarette and vaping products do contain nicotine and are “harmful in any quantity to children.”
Due to an error in publishing a legal notice for the public hearing, the board could not vote on the proposed law, Town Clerk Wayne Wink said.
Wink said the town would publish a proper legal notice before the Sept. 27 board meeting and continue the public hearing at that date, when the board would be able to vote on the proposal.
Also at the meeting, the board voted to become a co-sponsor of the Gold Coast Arts Center’s 2016 Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival and give the arts center $75,000.
The vote passed six to one, with De Giorgio as the lone board member to oppose the resolution.
She said that she felt the money that the town was giving the arts center was excessive, but that she supports what the Gold Coast Arts Center does for the community.
“I just want to clarify my no and say that it’s in no way a reflection of the work the Gold Coast Arts Center does or a criticism of the Supervisor’s focus on the arts,” De Giorgio said. “I actually think that’s really a great thing.”
Although the town has given the arts center $100,000 in the past, she said it was “tough” for the town to continue giving funds as it is approaching “budget season” and will be facing a tight tax cap.
“I feel like it’s time for the Gold Coast Arts Center to start looking to replace that $75,000 contribution with private donors and donors that are able to contribute,” De Giorgio said.
The next town board meeting is on Sept. 27.
Reach reporter Joe Nikic by e-mail at jnikic@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516.307.1045 x203. Also follow us on Twitter @joenikic and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

By Joe Nikic

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