Seeking to protect local residents, schools and businesses, Hempstead Town Councilman Dennis Dunne is seeking to “snuff out” hookah lounges in America’s largest township. Standing outside of Levittown Memorial Education Center, Councilman Dunne proposed a town law that would restrict the operation of hookah lounges in the Town of Hempstead to light manufacturing and industrial zones. Also attending the press event were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Levittown school officials, the Levittown Board of Education, the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, the Levittown Community Council and members of the Levittown PTA.
“The Town of Hempstead prides itself on being a community that is dedicated to the safety and quality of life of our residents,” stated Councilman Dunne. “The smoking of hookah tobacco can be harmful, particularly for young people, and may serve as a gateway to illegal drug use. That is why I am proposing the restriction of these hookah lounges to prevent their location near homes, schools, community centers and shopping areas.”
Councilman Dunne will call for a public hearing on the proposed law at the December 12th meeting of the Hempstead Town Board. The legislation will apply to hookah lounges that open in the future or are currently in the process of opening.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking hookah tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth, lungs, stomach and esophagus, among other diseases. In addition, the charcoal used to heat the tobacco produces high levels of carcinogens, carbon monoxide and other chemicals, making them just as toxic as cigarettes. What’s more, many young people believe that hookah smoking is less harmful than cigarettes. In fact, the long-term sessions involved with hookah smoking can result in even more chemicals being inhaled than with the average cigarette.
“I am proud to partner with Councilman Dunne to restrict the number of hookah lounges in our suburban communities,” stated Senior Councilwoman Goosby. Said Councilman D’Esposito, “This proposal will serve to help maintain the superlative quality of life that we have come to expect in America’s largest township.” Added Councilman Ambrosino, “We are confident that this proposed law will help protect residents from the health risks associated with hookah smoking.”
Councilman Dunne also detailed plans to restrict the selling of other dangerous substances, such as those found in so-called “vape shops.” Many parents might be unaware that their children are using JUUL e-cigarettes, which can be easily mistaken for a computer flash drive. This method of vaping, while harmful to the smoker, also provides a health risk to nearby children and pets. Another dangerous substance is Kratom, which can provide a “high” that is similar to opioids, which are highly addictive.
“As a veteran of the Vietnam War, it will always be my mission to look out for my fellow residents and keep them safe from harm,” concluded Councilman Dunne. “I think we can all agree that restricting hookah lounges to light manufacturing and industrial zones is in the best interest of all residents in the Town of Hempstead.”