Albany – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Alec Brook Krasny (D-Brooklyn) are announcing legislation passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature, S. 4269-A/A.6037-A, that amends the public health law to prohibit the sale of hookahs, water pipes and shisha to minors. The lawmakers introduced this legislation in response to concerns from parents of their Brooklyn districts.
The bill, which will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his consideration to become New York State Law, would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, shishas, rolling paper or smoking paraphernalia to those 18 and younger.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “I commend my colleagues in the State Senate for their unanimous support of this legislation which was introduced so to protect the health and well- being of New York’s children. As hookah bars become more popular amongst teenagers, parents have raised significant concerns and I believe this legislation properly addresses those apprehensions.”
Senator Golden continued, “I am hopeful that Governor Cuomo will sign this bill into law so that New York State will control and limit sales of hookah, water pipes and shisha to minors. It is a mistake of society to allow our youth to be permitted to smoke these tobacco products.”
“This legislation is vital for the protection of our children. We have made great strides in educating young people about the dangers of cigarettes. However, in our community, hookah and water pipes are a dangerous and unfortunately available alternative means for smoking tobacco,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny.
Assemblyman Brook-Krasny continued, “Not only is hookah up to 100 times more potent than cigarettes, but its tobacco is often flavored, making it even more marketable to kids. Nothing is more important to me than keeping our children and our community healthy, and this legislation, by making it harder for kids to get access to dangerous carcinogens, is an important step in the right direction.”
Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn) stated “I want to thank Assemblyman Brook-Krasny and Senator Golden for making sure a crucial part of combating smoking by minors gets addressed,” Councilman Gentile said. “While they’re not allowed to buy cigarettes, minors were not barred from purchasing non-tobacco smoking products until now. This law is an important part of making our approach to smoking consistent.”
Councilman Gentile has introduced a piece of legislation in the New York City Council seeking to make the 2002 Clean Indoor Air Act similarly consistent. His bill would ban the smoking of non-tobacco smoking product inside of most restaurants and bars.
The new bill, if signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will take effect on January 1, 2012.