Mike Smith, President of Local 810 IBT gratitude to CE Latimer for his decision to veto Local Law Intro. No 461-2022 banning menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco.
On behalf of Local 810 Teamsters Union, along with all our truck drivers, warehousemen and salespeople that work in the tobacco related industry, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to Westchester County Executive George Latimer for his decision to veto the Flavored Tobacco Ban legislation. This fast-tracked legislation would have negatively impacted the communities it claimed to want to help and take away union jobs from New York residents.
Some have claimed that this legislation was proposed to address the health risks associated with smoking flavored tobacco products while ignoring the fact that all other tobacco products have the same risks. We cannot and should not arbitrarily decide which products should be legally available to adults in this country and which should be banned. The failed history of Prohibition has taught us this valuable lesson.
Banning flavored tobacco is not the best approach to keep our children safe from products that can be lawfully sold to adults 21 years or older. Instead, the laws that are in place to protect our communities, including increased penalties to those that break such laws, must be stringently enforced. Moreover, it is imperative to continue to educate the youth on the risks of using such products. Adherence of these measures is the best approach to achieve the objectives of the proposed legislation.
To my Union brothers Tom Gesualdi – President of Teamsters Joint Council 16 and Lou Picani – President of Local 456 Teamsters, thank you for your support in this fight!
Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels – District 13 (Mount Vernon) one of the legislators who voted against the proposed menthol cigarettes and flavor nicotine ban also issued a statement applauding CE Latimer’s decision.
However, everyone is not pleased about the veto, BOL Chair Borgia, Hazel Dukes and others released statements expressing their disappoint in CE Latimer’s decision to veto the menthol ban.
The proposed ban may still become a law. The BOL can vote again on the proposal and “override the veto” by a two-thirds vote in favor. The 11-6 vote suggests that they not have the required 12 votes needed to override Latimer’s veto, killing all chances of this ban from becoming law. Insiders tell us, its highly unlikely legislators who voted no, will go against the County Executive by changing their vote to give the BOL the votes to override the veto.
If the CE Latimer’s veto is overturned this law shall take effect six months after enactment.
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story. To see all our extensive coverage of the Westchester Menthol Ban, click here.