Officials met to discuss how to address the growing issue
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, Islip Town officials, and representatives from the technology industry, at a press conference last week, 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 on 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 and Prevention.
“It’s gratifying to see that Gov. 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. Back in May 2016, Carpenter initiated changes to the 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.
“It’s considered ordinary recreation, and it’s also considered cool,” said 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.”
H.R. 2339- Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act, 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.
The Town of Islip Youth Bureau is also incorporating education related to the harmful effects of vaping into the message it brings to the youth in area school districts.
What is HALO?
New state-of-the-art technology to detect vaping 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.