Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities and Town of Bethlehem residents applaud the Bethlehem Town Board for passing today new measures to protect its residents, especially children and young people, from the impact of tobacco marketing. The new law will require a local license for retailers to sell tobacco and vape products and will gradually decrease the number of licenses available. In addition, tobacco retailers located within 1000 feet of schools will no longer be allowed to sell vape products.

The law comes after the Town undertook an extensive review of policy options after a vape shop applied to locate directly in front of Elsmere Elementary School in 2019. The Town solicited written comments on the proposed law and held public hearings virtually on May 27 and June 10.  About a dozen residents submitted comments and all expressed support for the proposal, many citing the desire to address the youth vaping epidemic and to create a healthier environment for their children.

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