New York City Mayor Eric Adams has initiated a crackdown on landlords and building owners who harbor these dangerous establishments to combat the proliferation of illegal, unlicensed smoke shops. With more than $7 million in imposed civil penalties and numerous illegal products seized, the administration aims to protect the health and well-being of consumers and young New Yorkers exposed to unregulated cannabis and tobacco products.
Mayor Adams stated that their administration is employing all available resources to safeguard youth and all residents of New York from hazardous, unlicensed cannabis and tobacco products. By providing property owners with crucial information about the significant consequences they will face for breaking the law, the mayor hopes to send a clear message that anyone assisting these illicit businesses will be held accountable.
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Supports Action
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Phillip Banks III, is actively participating in the campaign, emphasizing that the administration is firmly addressing the spread of smoke shops that are illicitly trading in tobacco, vaping, and cannabis products throughout the city. Banks emphasized the importance of landlords understanding their role in this process and ensured continued efforts by New York’s public safety agencies to enforce compliance with the law.
Sheriff Anthony Miranda Offers Correction Opportunity
New York City Sheriff Anthony Miranda revealed that while there is no single solution to combating the growth of illegal smoke shops, informing landlords of their obligations and potential liability adds another layer of prevention. He explained how landlords can take corrective action and benefit from the available support offered by law enforcement authorities in the matter.
Legal Consequences and Removal of Tenants
In their warning letter to landlords and building owners, authorities highlight the possibility of facing “an injunction and penalties up to $1,000 a day,” emphasizing the city’s authority to request tenant removal from properties found harboring illegal activity. Over the coming weeks, the task force consisting of the Sheriff’s Office, the NYPD, and the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement will review unlicensed smoke shops with violations and notify landlords of their legal obligation to comply.
Combating Youth Vaping in New York City
This initiative is in line with earlier efforts by Mayor Adams and New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds Radix to combat vaping among the youth in the city. Previously, they undertook legal proceedings against numerous firms distributing flavored disposable e-cigarettes, highly favored by middle and high school students, through direct online sales and via retail vape, smoke shops, and convenience stores across New York City.
New York City’s decisive approach to addressing the issue of illegal smoke shops highlights the importance of collaboration between various government agencies and citizens in ensuring the ongoing protection of consumers and young individuals from dangerous, unregulated substances. With these vital initiatives in place, the city is one step closer to curbing illicit cannabis and tobacco activities and promoting a safer environment for all.