SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Midnight on Dec. 31, 2011 will bring more than a new year. In New York State it will bring tougher tobacco laws.
Beginning with this Sunday, a new law bans the sale of flavored tobacco and water pipes used to smoke it to anyone under 18 years old. But, as WSYR-TV reports, the ban is coming at time when using a hookah pipe is growing in popularity in Central New York.
The law will also require smoke shops to post signs informing customers of the new law.
“The law is in place to discourage youngsters from smoking at an early age, where it will cause long term effects,” explained Gary Bulinski with the Syracuse Police Department.
The New York State Department of Health is in charge of enforcing the law and fines are possible for businesses that violate it.
At least one Syracuse retailer is already in compliance with the law. “You do have people, believe it or not, who still show up without an ID and it’s important they understand this is the law. This is the way it works and it’s our way of informing the public that we have to follow those guidelines,” Mike Glynn, with Rocky’s News Stand in Syracuse, explained to the news station.
Flavored tobacco products have come under fire in the past couple of years. In late 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted a ban on flavored cigarettes — other than tobacco and menthol. And just recently, flavored cigars have been come under the microscope as federal legislators urge the FDA to include them in the 2009 ban, as CSNews Online previously reported.