Idea by kids could become law to the dismay of vape shops in New Rochelle

NEW ROCHELLE, New York (WABC) -- Legislation created by children could end up having a big impact on some local businesses in New Rochelle.

11-year-old Mya Dooley may have a future as a lawmaker.

The creative 5th grader, along with some of her peers at The Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle, came up with an interesting idea during their annual "Civic Day" event back in March.

"Basically we decided that we wanted to ban or have a law against smoke shops or vape shops near schools or parks because it's dangerous for kids," Mya said.

The group presented the grown-up idea to city leaders, and wouldn't you know it, there is now proposed legislation that prohibits tobacco and nicotine specific stores from opening within 500 feet of youth centers, schools and playgrounds.

"It's brilliant," said Isaiah Shaw, high school senior. "It's the idea of like, you know you're young you want to be like cool, so you see older people doing it, so you're like, oh, since it's right here you might as well try it out and try to be like the cool kids, you know."

"It's very discriminatory," said Al de Bara, smoke shop owner.

De Bara owns "Smoke 4 Less" on Main Street. It is one of several vape shops in the city.

The former New Rochelle police lieutenant has no issues with the intent of the proposal, but he believes the focus should center on the product and not the business.

"For example, if you stop vape stores or tobacco stores from being within 500 feet of a school, that does not stop deli's from selling tobacco," de Bara said.
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