Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced that legislation he supports to help protect children from the harmful effects of cigarettes has been signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new laws prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to children and prohibit smoking within 100 feet of school entrances or exits.
“Exposing children to nicotine and second hand smoke puts their health at risk. We need to continue to protect them from these harmful substances. I thank Governor Cuomo for working with us to pass these important health initiatives which will help keep children safe,” said Senator Fuschillo.
The first law prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to children under age 18. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that allow users to mimic smoking by inhaling a vaporized liquid solution, which often includes nicotine, instead of tobacco smoke. These “e-cigarettes,” which often can come with flavors such as vanilla, chocolate thunder, cola, and cinnamon apple that are more enticing to children, could help encourage children to use, and become addicted to, real cigarettes and other tobacco products. Additionally, e-cigarette refill cartridges, which are often sold without protective packaging, can contain higher concentrations of nicotine which could be fatal if accidentally ingested by young children. The law takes effect on January 1, 2013.
The second law will help protect children from being exposed to dangerous second-hand smoke by expanding the ban on smoking on school grounds. Under the law, smoking is prohibited within 100 feet of the entrances, exits or outdoor areas of public and private schools. The new law is already in effect.