Tobacco marketing ban supported by divided board

JOHNSTOWN – A divided Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday passed a resolution in support of ending tobacco marketing in stores.

The board voted 10-8 at the County Office Building to approve the resolution. The board in April heard an anti-smoking presentation from representatives of the Project Action and Reality Check organizations. The groups had urged the county to take action against tobacco marketing in stores, which they see as a primary cause of youth smoking.

“Tobacco companies have developed carefully calculated media campaigns to recruit new youth smokers,” Monday’s resolution stated. “Tobacco companies perceive children as a key market and developed products and marketing campaigns aimed directly at them.”

The resolution went on to state that “point-of-sale” cigarette marketing increases the likelihood that youth will initiate smoking and exposes all store visitors to “pro-smoking messages and imagery.”

“The Fulton County Board of Supervisors hereby supports keeping tobacco products out of consumer view inside all non-adult retail establishments,” the resolution said.

But it was apparent during the vote that the board was divided on the issue.

Bleecker Supervisor David Howard said the county legislative body shouldn’t be dictating what private business is doing.

“It has to do with where government should stick its nose in,” Howard said.

Voting for the resolution were: Mayfield Supervisor Rick Argotsinger, Ephratah Supervisor Todd Bradt, Broadalbin Supervisor Thomas Christopher, Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael F. Gendron, Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene, Northampton Supervisor James Groff, Johnstown 1st Ward Supervisor Richard Handy, Johnstown Town Supervisor Nancy MacVean, Gloversville 4th Ward Supervisor Charles Potter and Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young.

Voting against the resolution were: Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born, Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan, Howard, Stratford Supervisor Robert Johnson Jr., Johnstown 2nd Ward Supervisor Michael Kinowski, Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria Jr., Caroga Supervisor Ralph Ottuso and Johnstown 4th Ward Supervisor William Waldron.

Absent were: Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Callery and Oppenheim Supervisor George Capek.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.