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Long Island Committee Passes Bill To Put Vapor Behind Counters

Long Island Committee Passes Bill To Put Vapor Behind Counters


Legislative committees in Nassau County on Long Island here in New York voted unanimously to approve a bill that would require sellers of vapor products to keep them off of counters and away from the candy and toy sections of their stores. According to Newsday, the bill passed both the Rules and Health and Social Services Committees by unanimous 7-0 margins as a way to discourage advertising vapor products to underaged kids.

New laws would also limit the amount of “point-of-sale” advertising used in vapor product displays, which you may be familiar with if you’ve bought just about anything from a neighborhood store.

Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) called it a “companion bill” to the recent law change that hiked the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, according to a report at The Island Now. That bill passed in April.   

The popularity of the bill is possibly due to its bipartisan consensus to target aspects of marketing to act as a deterrent from children getting their hands on or be enticed. The bill was sponsored by the Republican majority caucus and backed by County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat. While this was a major hurdle for the bill, it still has to be approved by a full legislature, which meets on July 9.

Rose Marie Walker (R-Hicksville) said during the hearing Monday that the advertising can be “very enticing because it does look like it’s fun for kids, so it entices young children to want to purchase it.”

This is the latest in a string of decisions about vapor and underaged vaping. In May, Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, announced that the agency sent forty warning letters to online retailers and brick-and-mortar shops around the country. In June, San Francisco voted to ban flavored e-liquids.

Curbing underaged vaping is accepted by the wider vaping community as an important issue that politicians and vapor companies can get behind. Companies like Juul have donated over $30 million to causes working towards preventing underaged vaping. Breazy released a statement outlining our position towards the issue.

While politicians and vapor companies have reacted to growing concerns about children getting access to vapor products, there’s also reason to think that the issue has stagnated. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, in 2016 use among high school students dropped from 16% to 11.3% and use among middle schoolers dropped from 5.3% to 4.3%.

At the end of the day, this is an issue of common sense - tobacco-based nicotine products (and in many instances alcohol as well) have long been kept out of reach of children visiting convenience stores, it makes sense any age-restricted purchase shouldn't be placed where underaged customers can access them. That, and we can't imagine even the most inept or unscrupulous vendor stocking their e-liquid in a candy or toy aisle, but if there are shopkeepers thinking this is sound practice they rightfully deserve to be put on notice.