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Proposed new rules for cigarette ads in Buffalo

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WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
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Masten District lawmaker Demone Smith promoting his proposed bill

By Eileen Buckley & Ashley Hassett

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-935916.mp3

Buffalo, NY – A Buffalo lawmaker is promoting a proposed law that would mean tough new rules for cigarette ads, specifically those that target local children. It is being praised by local anti-smoking advocates.

Masten district Council Member Demone Smith is sponsoring the Responsible Tobacco Retailing Act.

"They are advertising toward our children and somebody has to say yo, enough is enough", said Smith.

If approved, it would require a city license to sell tobacco products in Buffalo. Smith noted that many East Side corner stores post colorful cigarette ads designed to lure kids to smoke. "We have find somebody to wathc over and regulating a danagerous product. People can get off crack and they can't get off cigarettes," said Smith.

A recent survey in the area proves many retail outlets are posting the ads. Gretchen Leffler is the regional vice president of the American Cancer Association.

"Tobacco ads were find inside 93% of stores in Erie and Niagara County," said Leffler.

The tobacco industry spends more than $13-billion a year to market products to youth. Here in New York, more than a million dollars a day is spent to market tobacco.

Council member Smith denies criticism the bill is so-called "nanny legislation". Smith said they are working out final legal issues with the proposed law before it appears for a Council vote.

Meanwhile Anthony Billioni, director of the Erie Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition, said the City is on the verge of adopting a tough new tobacco ad law.

A recent survey in the area proves many retail outlets are posting the ads. Gretchen Leffler is the regional vice president of the American Cancer Association..