SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Tougher tobacco laws meant to protect children kicked in in New York on Jan. 1. A new law bans the sale of flavored tobacco and the water pipes used to smoke it to anyone under 18, according to a 9WSYR.com report. Some smoke shops say it comes at a time when hookah smoking is gaining popularity in Central New York.
A sticky, tobacco flavored substance known as Shisha can be smoked in a hookah pipe.
“It’s a social smoking pipe with three or four hoses on it. They put a small amount of flavored tobacco in the top, water in the bottom, light the tobacco as it cools the smoke,” Mike Glynn, with Rocky’s News Stand in Syracuse, said in the report.
The law won’t be hard for Rocky’s News Stand to follow, as it’s already been acting as if it were in place.
"We're just not looking for any underage business, so our help is trained to make sure IDs are checked, and if they have no ID, we generally won't do the sale,” Glynn said.
The law will also require smoke shops to post signs, informing customers of the new law.
Regarding the ban on “flavored” smoke, Gary Bulinski with the Syracuse Police Department said, "The law is in place to discourage youngsters from smoking at an early age, where it will cause long-term effects."
The New York State Department of Health is in charge of enforcing the law and fines are possible for businesses who violate it.
Meanwhile, a New York City TV campaign on the health consequences of "light" smoking--10 or fewer cigarettes per day--is scheduled to begin this week, according to a UPI.com report.
Officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it was the department's first effort to target light smokers with information on the dangerous health effects of even light or casual smoking.
"One Cigarette Is One Too Many," contrasts people defending their light smoking with the well-documented health effects from light smoking.
"Even if you don't think of yourself as a smoker, when you smoke even one cigarette a day, you are putting yourself at risk for many serious and potentially fatal health problems," Dr. Thomas Farley, commissioner of health, said in a statement.
To coincide with the campaign, the health department will offer nicotine gum until Jan. 15, 2012, to eligible smokers who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day to help them quit via nycquits at nyc.gov.
Light smokers make up 34% of all New York City's daily smokers, according to the report.
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