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Should Local Laws Limit Tobacco Displays? [POLL]

Haverstraw limits shops' tobacco activities. Should Nyack?

When it comes to smokers' rights in Rockland, the debate can become fierce.

Nyack lawmakers addressed the idea of last year, a conversation that galvanized hundreds of residents—some in favor of legislation combating tobacco products, and others vehemently opposed.

Earlier this year, the Palisades Center announced it will this May. It's a decision that has several mall employees miffed, as they'll have to kick the habit or take smoke breaks inside their cars.

Now, the Village of Haverstraw has passed a local law that restricts tobacco product displays in businesses that are open to children. The legislation aims to reduce the number of youngsters who pick up the habit, officials said, and shops that do not obey can face a $500 fine.

"We know that the more often our kids are exposed to tobacco products the more likely they are to smoke," said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. "In passing this forward- thinking law, the Village of Haverstraw has taken a step forward toward preventing the next generation of youth from becoming addicted to a product that leads to disease and premature death."

What's your take? Sound off in our Patch poll below.

Joel Phillips April 18, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Restricting a persons ability to advertise products is just wrong. If they want to regulate sales and advertising, make tobacco products like liquor, have a seperate store, otherwise let retailers advertise the goods they trade in. Government is attempting to take to much controlover people, and one day it will have grave consequences when people realize and rebel.
Chris April 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Worry more about the crime, gangs and street drugs in Haverstraw. Cigarettes are small potatoes next to the other problems in that village. Plus, if the wording isn't in Spanish most of the chidlren would not be able to read it anyway.
Mike Easter April 18, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Sure, we should worry about crime, gangs and drugs, but to ignore tobacco would be turning a blind eye to the nations leading cause of preventable death. There is no question that this will rub some people the wrong way, but I think it is a very noble thing to do considering the horrible effects of tobacco. The Haverstraw legislators should be commended, and will likely go down in history for this. Bravo!
Maureen April 18, 2012 at 04:46 PM
This law does not prevent advertising...It calls to cover up the tobacco product display. Tobacco product display is targeting youth, the tobacco industry's replacement smokers. If the kids don't see the product, the less likely it will be that they care to use the deadly product. Great move by the village! I hope Nyack will follow!
sue April 18, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Half of Haverstraw's youth who take up smoking will die early from smoking related illness after years of addiction. That is NOT small potatoes! The ban will prevent many from starting, saving them years of suffering.
sue April 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM
This law does NOT restrict the ability to advertise, it simply covers the display of products that is proven to increase youth smoking. Convenience Store magazine (their trade journal) reported that covering tobacco displays in Canada had no effect on sales. The government of Haverstraw is not attempting to control people, just protecting youth from the tactics of the tobacco industry to recruit youth to their deadly product. Retailers can still sell tobacco and adults can still buy the product.
Terra House April 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Terra: The evidence is clear: Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. The tobacco industry targets youth with tobacco marketing in retail establishments. Ordinances that prohibit tobacco product displays prevent youth from engaging in a life long addiction that will end in their painful, early death. When you know better do better!!
sue April 19, 2012 at 03:40 PM
This law does not restrict a persons ability to advertise products nor regulate sales. It simply covers displays where youth shop. Selling tobacco products in adult only stores like liquor is in many states is a great idea!
Chris April 19, 2012 at 04:03 PM
The less government gets involved with things the better off we will all be.
Chris April 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Government makes good money on tobacco. Since the current users will not live forever, they need a new market. Whether the new smoker waits until they are 18 or not, they will watch their parents and peers doing it and will join suit. Advertising is a very small part in the cultural attitudes toward tobacco smoking in this country.
sue April 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The government LOSES money on tobacco. The tax would have to be over $11 per pack just for taxpayers to break even on what smoking related illness costs us in extra Medicare and Medicaid for smokers - that is not to mention the higher health care costs for everyone else not on public health care, nor the lost productivity and cost to employers (around $3,700 more per smoking employee.)

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