RONKONKOMA, NY — Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was joined by Rep. Peter King, Co-Chair of the newly formed Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic, Islip Town Board members John Cochrane and Mary Kate Mullen, and representatives from the technology industry, at a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 9, to address growing concerns over the vaping public health crisis.
The officials gathered on the heels of the first reported vaping-related death in New York State Tuesday, Oct. 8, of a 17-year-old Bronx boy, and just days after Governor Cuomo’s call to ban flavored e-cigarettes in New York State. Last week, 1,000 new cases of vaping related illnesses were reported to the Centers for Disease Control.
”It’s gratifying to see that Governor Cuomo has taken a stand to ban flavored e-cigarettes in the State of New York,” said Carpenter. “Once the ban on flavored e-cigarettes takes effect, Town of Islip Fire Marshals will be monitoring compliance during routine inspections throughout the Town," Carpenter continued.
"Back in May of 2016, I initiated changes to our Town Code to prohibit vape shops from locating near schools, parks, playgrounds and places of worship. Recently, this section of the Code was tested in Court and has been upheld. Our Fire Marshals remain prepared to respond to any complaints we receive, and to help ensure that flavored e-cigarettes do not reach the youth in our communities,” said Carpenter.
“It’s considered ordinary recreation, and it’s also considered cool,” said Rep. King. “We have to stop this. I really blame the companies like Juul and others, for the enticement of young people into vaping through various flavors. It’s just to draw kids in, and in many ways they’re using the same advertising methods that the tobacco companies used 30 and 40 years ago to entice adults into smoking,” he added.
Rep. King announced the details of H.R. 2339- Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of which he is cosponsor, and which would raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 years, prohibit all flavors of tobacco products including menthol; require the FDA to finalize a rule requiring graphic health warnings for cigarette packages and prohibit non-face-to-face sales of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes.
Rep. King is an original cosponsor of the QUITS Act, which would triple the federal tax on cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, ban all flavors of tobacco including menthol in tobacco and e-cigarettes and double the annual budget for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.
The Town of Islip Youth Bureau is incorporating education related to the harmful effects of vaping, into the message it brings to the youth in area school districts. “We also discuss with parents the dangers of young people’s ability to tamper with the pods and/or purchase pods online that contain THC,” said Tim Mare, Executive Director, Town of Islip Youth Bureau.
New state-of-the-art technology to detect vape in schools is being manufactured by IPVideo Corporation in Ronkonkoma, within the Town of Islip’s Foreign Trade Zone. The HALO IOT Smart Sensor detects environmental changes that occur in privacy concern areas such as bathrooms and locker rooms, and is currently being used by school districts in the Town of Islip and across the country. HALO detects vaping and smoking, and alerts designated personnel when environmental changes occur in typically supervised areas.
“We are very proud that our Town of Islip based company is doing its part to combat national youth vaping,” said David Antar, President IPVideo Corporation. “The use of the vape detection technology in the HALO IOT Smart Sensor combined with education and the legislation on flavoring and e-cigarette advertising, is the right formula to stop this epidemic in our schools,” he added.