Albany County lawmakers voted 21-17 last night to become the first community in New York to block the sale of tobacco products in retail stores that contain licensed pharmacies. The ban would apply to all major pharmacy chains as well as other stores, like supermarkets, that contain pharmacies. Fines would start at $200 and go as high as $1,000 per violation. The legislation now heads to County Executive Dan McCoy’s desk for his signature. However, a spokesperson for McCoy says he plans to review it and hold a public hearing.
The Albany Common Council could decide tonight to expand its smoking ban in city parks. If passed, the measure would carry a 50 dollar fine and go into effect immediately.
It is already against the law to smoke on playgrounds or ball-fields in the city. Back in 2012, the Albany Common Council approved a limited ban on smoking in areas of parks where children gather, including playgrounds, athletic fields and swimming pools.
In 2012 communities across Massachusetts have taken strides to limit tobacco use in public places and businesses. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard takes a look at what some communities are doing to reduce smoking, and what some hope to achieve in the new year…