The sale of e-cigarette gadgets resembling highlighters, USB drives, ballpoint pens, smartphone instances, smartwatches, backpacks and different private gadgets could be banned in Suffolk County beneath laws introduced Monday.
The invoice, anticipated to be voted on throughout the Nov. 21 basic assembly of the county legislature, prohibits the sale of the gadgets to anybody of any age. Whereas it is already unlawful to promote vape pens to individuals beneath the age of 21, the invoice says newer merchandise are “predatory” and marketed to youngsters as a manner to vape undetected.
Some, corresponding to these marketed by Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Excessive Gentle Vapes, appear like highlighter pens utilized in faculties or workplaces. The corporate’s web site says the pens are for individuals “who want to vape discreetly in public” and contains disclaimers that they include nicotine, will be addictive and are usually not for minors.
Legis. James Mazzarella (R-Moriches), the invoice’s sponsor, mentioned the merchandise haven’t been present in Suffolk however will be ordered wholesale and will present up on retailer cabinets. The legislation would apply to in-store gross sales, with first-time violators going through a $1,000 effective.
At a information convention with officers from Longwood and William Floyd faculty districts, Mazzarella mentioned he submitted the laws a couple of month in the past after seeing social media movies displaying how the merchandise work.
Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Government Steve Bellone, mentioned Bellone is reviewing the invoice.
Nassau County doesn’t have related laws, in accordance with county spokesman Chris Boyle.
The authorized age to vape and smoke was raised to 21 nationwide in 2019.
New York State in 2020 banned the net sale of vape merchandise.
Mike Frennier, president of the New York State Vapor Affiliation which represents retailers, mentioned he helps the Suffolk laws.
“Vaping is for adults, and vaping shouldn’t be entertained and tolerated for minors,” he mentioned.
In 2022, about 1 in 10, or 2.55 million, U.S. center and highschool college students used e-cigarettes at the very least as soon as prior to now 30 days, together with 3.3% of center faculty college students and 14.1% of highschool college students, in accordance with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management. Well being dangers embody potential hurt for mind improvement and dependancy.
The William Floyd district, with round 3,000 highschool college students, has disciplined round six per 30 days thus far this faculty 12 months for vaping, spokesman James Montalto mentioned. The scholars are suspended for 2 days, he mentioned.
Bob Vecchio, government director of the Nassau/Suffolk College Boards Affiliation, mentioned the group helps the invoice.
“In the event you’re over 21, you don’t want one thing that appears like a highlighter to vape — since you’re not making an attempt to cover something,” he mentioned.
Vera Chinese language covers Suffolk County authorities and politics. She joined Newsday in 2017 after working as an editor for the East Finish life-style publication northforker and a basic task reporter for the New York Each day Information.