Smithtown approves new vape shop, hookah lounge restrictions

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KINGS PARK -

Smithtown has approved new restrictions on vape shops and hookah lounges.

Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo says the Town Board voted unanimously last night for an amendment that keeps vape shops and hookah lounges from opening near public places where children would be. It's effective immediately.

The list of places where the shops and lounges can’t be near includes schools, churches, parks and playgrounds. This won’t affect stores already in business.

Parents like Elisa Valladares are applauding the new law.

"I wouldn't like to have my kids around anyone who is smoking,” says Valladares.

Cloud Vapor and Smoke is one of seven vape shops in Smithtown allowed to continue operating. Its owner does not agree with the new law.

"These restrictions are useless,” says Samet Bal, of Cloud Vapor and Smoke. “We need to focus more on the root of the problem, which is parents need to be more involved with what their kids are doing."

Vape users say the restriction hurts would-be businesses.

"There could be more stores that would open, but now don't have the chance,” says Zak Mavrotheris, of Manorville.

The Town of Babylon passed similar legislation on e-cigarettes and vaporizers this week.

In response to this, the American Lung Association said, "Anything that our elected officials can be doing to reduce the prevalence of these products and their availability to our kids is a good thing."

Councilwoman Inzerillo says she'll be writing to county officials asking them to ban e-cigarettes, vaporizers and other similar products at gas stations and convenience stores in Suffolk.

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