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Sep 24, 2018 4:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Village Bans Smoking And Vaping On Public Property

Cigarette butts found throughout the Village of East Hampton.  ELIZABETH VESPE
Sep 25, 2018 11:38 AM

For those who plan to light up in the Village of East Hampton, the price might run higher than a regular pack of Marlboro cigarettes or Juul Pods.

The East Hampton Village Board expanded previous legislation to prohibit smoking and vaping on all public property in the village after a public hearing on Friday.

In addition to an already existing law banning smoking at Herrick Park and the Main Beach pavilion, which went into effect in 2011, the amended law will include village sidewalks, parking lots, and all village beaches and pavilions. The law will go into effect within 30 days of Friday, September 21, and violators will face a fine of up to $250.

The vaping “epidemic” sweeping the nation—especially as it affects middle school and high school students—brought the issue to the Village Board’s attention, according to Rosemary Brown, a Village Board member.

In 2011, another Long Island community, Great Neck, outlawed smoking in public places, including sidewalks along Main Street, imposing fines of up to $1,000. Great Neck claims to be the first village in New York State to implement such a measure.

“For those who don’t think it’s timely, we had the county poll inspectors who were actually [vaping] in this building,” said Becky Molinaro Hansen, the village administrator, referring to the Emergency Services Building, where the Village Board meets and which served as an election station for the Democratic primaries last week.

“I see cigarette butts on the beaches and floating in the water,” noted another board member, Barbara Borsack.

Between litter in the form of cigarette butts and the effects of vaping and smoking on other people, the village sought to control the issue.

The East Hampton Town Trustees, which claim jurisdiction over most East Hampton beaches, had written a letter opposing the smoking prohibition on the beaches, Ms. Molinaro Hansen told the board, but the village pressed on anyway.

“I think we’re going to agree to disagree,” Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said.

The Village Board does not anticipate having to add new signs alerting smokers to the new rules, as many village buildings already have signs posted for employees.

“First-time violators will be warned about the new law if they are observed to be non-compliant,” Ms. Molinaro Hansen explained on Monday.

Steven Ringel, executive director of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce, took the podium to thank the Village Board for its efforts in making the village cleaner. The chamber had polled residents and found unanimous support for banning smoking and vaping on public village properties, he said, emphasizing cigarette butts as a problem in the Village.

“Restaurants will work to create designated [outdoor] smoking areas,” he added.

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Need blinking red light at noyack road and North Sea intersection. Almost every car/truck makes a left heading west and the stop sign backs it up everyday
By Sag harbor resident (5), on Sep 24, 18 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Enforcement of this legislation will be selective -- depending on one's appearance, one person may be able to vape schedule 1 illegal substances while sitting on a bench on Main Street while a different person may end up in jail because they are unable to pay the $250 fine plus penalties that stemmed from their smoking legal Lorillard prouducts at the train station.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Sep 26, 18 11:05 AM
If the use of any legal product in a particular setting or location is prohibited and the user disregards the law then presumably it is still a violation with the same consequences of not being able to pay any prescribed fine. Substitute driving a car in a pedestrian only area instead of smoking/ vaping in a prohibited area. Will you have the same concern then?
By smokefree (2), Bayside on Oct 2, 18 2:52 AM
The expansion of the smoking/vaping restrictions on public property will enhance the quality of life of East Hampton Village residents and visitors and should be another reason to consider living and/or spending their money in town.
By smokefree (2), Bayside on Oct 2, 18 2:57 AM