PORT WASHINGTON - The town of North Hempstead is proposing a first-of-its-kind law aimed at keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of children.
North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio believes there's a problem with the growing number of smoking advertisements, especially near schools. De Giorgio recently proposed legislation that would restrict smoking ads within 500 feet of a school, child care center or park.
The legislation would limit the number of signs per storefront to five, and require them to be no larger than 5 inches by 8 inches. Signage would be restricted to black, white and gray, without color.
Citing a CDC report, De Giorgio says vaping companies in particular have ramped up their budgets to produce bright, vibrant ads.
"Those colorful ads are targeted to children and they're meant to be attractive to children," she says.
Anthony D'Aversa, of Manorhaven, works at Vape Kingz and says that while keeping smoking signs away from children is a good idea, he feels vaping is being unfairly targeted.
"We are close to the elementary school, but there's a bar a few doors down, which is directly across the street from the elementary school, and drinking is just as bad as smoking cigarettes in the long run," says D'Aversa.
The town of North Hempstead is holding a public hearing on Sept. 13. De Giorgio says she is confident a vote on the proposed legislation will take place that day.