Making POW’R Moves

POW’R Against Tobacco gains national victory right here in Rockland County

After working with the American Lung Association and POW’R Against Tobacco for the past year, the Village of Haverstraw passed first in the nation regulations to restrict tobacco product displays in retail environments open to children.

Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut said, “The law was passed Monday evening after about six weeks of revision and review by the board and our attorney. We have been working with POW’R Against Tobacco for over a year to discourage youth smoking and the business community has generally been supportive. It was POW’R who brought the proposed law to us to consider.”

“We know that the more often our kids are exposed to tobacco products the more likely they are to smoke,” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “In passing this forward- thinking law, the Village of Haverstraw has taken a step forward toward preventing the next generation of youth from becoming addicted to a product that leads to disease and premature death.”

“We are hoping that this historic vote will ignite a domino effect of tobacco product display restrictions around the state and country, “said Maureen Kenney, Director of POW’R Against Tobacco. “The Village of Haverstraw Mayor and Board of Trustees are to be commended for their efforts in reducing youth smoking rates.”

POW’R Against Tobacco said a survey that conducted indicated that 77 percent of Rockland residents support the idea of requiring stores to keep all cigarette packs and other tobacco displays out of the sight of children. A majority of every group-including smokers-agrees.

Seyler noted that the recently issued report by the U.S. Surgeon General Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults concluded that prevention efforts must focus on both adolescents and young adults. He said 88 percent of smokers first use cigarettes by the time they reach 18 years of age and 99 percent first use them by the time they reach 26 years of age.

Tobacco product display bans have been in effect in other countries such as Canada, Ireland and Norway.