Brian Pugh: Ventilating The Smoke Shop Issue

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

At last week’s Public Hearing to consider the special use permit request to operate a smoke shop at 50 Maple Street, the Village Board heard from many critics of the planned smoke shop. But on the advice of the Village Attorney and on the basis of a favorable report from the Planning Board, the Board approved a special permit for the smoke shop.

“This is a tough situation for this Board to be in…any community that is faced with this, if we had the opportunity to say no to this, we would say no,” said Mayor Greg Schmidt at last Monday’s meeting.

However, there is no reason we should be caught flat-footed going forward. As a Village, we should consider prophylactic legislation to address the concerns of residents by limiting where tobacco sales may take place.

The emission from an e-cigarette can contain heavy metals and other harmful chemicals, according to the NYS Deptartment of Health. Studies also show that youth who vape are more likely to smoke cigarettes than those who don’t vape.

The City of New Rochelle is currently considering the adoption of a local law stipulating that stores and shops primarily selling tobacco, vape and similar nicotine products shall not be located within 500 feet of the perimeter of any child daycare center, children’s institution, playground, school premises or youth center.

 

I provided a copy of this legislation to the Village Manager and the Board on July 7th. Trustee Ann Gallelli also brought it up at the July 10th Village Board meeting. I hope that we can fully discuss the question further at a Village Board work session in the near future.

Brian Pugh

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