BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed the Public Health Protection Act of 2018 Friday at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The public health measure, which was approved unanimously by the legislature earlier this month, makes it illegal to:
1. Smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18-years-old present.
2. Bans the sale of tobacco or nicotine-containing products in pharmacies and other healthcare institutions.
3. Bans smoking in or adjacent to NFTA bus shelters and public areas near them.
“As elected officials we are charged with protecting the health and safety of the public we serve, and the Public Health Protection Act is evidence of the seriousness with which we accept that responsibility. While the dangers of tobacco use have long been known, this Act takes protections against tobacco’s deleterious health effects to the next level, curtailing the usage and sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to protect children and non-smokers in public places,” said Poloncarz. “It is indisputable that tobacco use exacts a heavy toll on public health every year. I called for a prohibition on tobacco sales in Erie County pharmacies in my 2016 State of the County address and today I thank Chairman Savage, Legislator Mills, and former legislator Burke for sponsoring this Act and the members of the legislature for moving this legislation forward. Together we are working to protect the health of Erie County residents today and in the future.”
Those smoking in vehicles with children present and smoking in or adjacent to NFTA bus shelters will be given warnings for the first 90 days, following the grace period violators can expect to be fined.
The first offense will be up to a $50 fine, second offense up to a $100 fine, third offense up to $150 fine.
Pharmacies and healthcare institutions that sell tobacco or nicotine-containing products will face a civil penalty between $300-$1,000 for a first offense and $500-$2,000 for any subsequent violation.