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TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN EFFECT A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected somewhere within this area within the next 36 hours * LOCATIONS AFFECTED - Huntington - Smithtown - Port Jefferson * WIND - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Tropical Storm force wind - Peak Wind Forecast: 30-40 mph with gusts to 50 mph - Window for Tropical Storm force winds: Friday afternoon until Friday evening - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for wind 39 to 57 mph - PLAN: Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force. - PREPARE: Remaining efforts to protect property should be completed as soon as possible. Prepare for limited wind damage. - ACT: Move to safe shelter before the wind becomes hazardous. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited - Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about. - Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over. - A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways. - Scattered power and communications outages. * STORM SURGE - No storm surge inundation forecast - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Little to no storm surge flooding - PLAN: There is little to no threat of storm surge flooding. Rough surf, coastal erosion, and life-threatening rip currents are possible. - PREPARE: Little to no preparations for storm surge flooding are needed. - ACT: Follow the instructions of local officials. Monitor forecasts. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Little to None - Little to no potential impacts from storm surge flooding. * FLOODING RAIN - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Flash Flood Watch is in effect - Peak Rainfall Amounts: 2-4 inches, with locally higher amounts - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for moderate flooding rain - PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for moderate flooding from heavy rain. Evacuations and rescues are possible. - PREPARE: Consider protective actions if you are in an area vulnerable to flooding. - ACT: Heed any flood watches and warnings. Failure to take action may result in serious injury or loss of life. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant - Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may quickly become swollen with swifter currents and may overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may overflow. - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures. * TORNADO - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: - Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for a few tornadoes - PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for a few tornadoes. - PREPARE: If your shelter is particularly vulnerable to tornadoes, prepare to relocate to safe shelter before hazardous weather arrives. - ACT: If a tornado warning is issued, be ready to shelter quickly. - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings. * FOR MORE INFORMATION: - http://scoem.suffolkcountyny.gov - https://weather.gov/nyc - https://ready.gov/hurricanes

NYC Officials Propose Raising Age to Legally Buy Cigarettes

LongIsland.com

If City Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley and City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn have their way, retailers in New York City will be banned from selling cigarettes to people under 21.

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If City Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley and City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn have their way, retailers in New York City will be banned from selling cigarettes to people under 21.

The officials on Monday announced a proposal to raise the age to legally buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 in New York City—the strictest limits of any major city in America. Under the proposal, sellers would be subject to fines and other penalties for selling cigarettes to minors, but people under 21 would not be prohibited from possessing or smoking cigarettes—buyers and their parents would not be violating the law.

“With this legislation, we’ll be targeting the age group at which the overwhelming majority of smokers start,” Ms. Quinn said at a City Hall news conference.

In defense of the legislation, Quinn and Farley point out that the transition from experimental smoking to regular smoking generally occurs around age 20, and that if cigarettes are not as easy to obtain at a young age, the chances of them becoming lifelong addicts would diminish.

Quinn pointed out that there was “clear data” that 80 percent of smokers started before age 21, adding, “We have an ability to intervene on that and make a difference.” Officials pointed to the results of a 2010 study conducted in England showing that after the legal age of sale for cigarettes was raised from 16 to 18 in 2007, smoking among 16- to 17-year-olds dropped by 30 percent.

But the legislation is eliciting strong opposition from those concerned that the rights of young people will be violated. At 18, they contend, New Yorkers are old enough to go to war, drive and vote, but this proposal precludes them from making the decision whether to purchase cigarettes.

“By 18, people are responsible enough to make their own decisions,” said Erik Malave, 23, a music production student at City College. “Forcing people to make themselves healthy tends not to work. When I turned 18, I bought cigarettes for all my friends who weren’t 18,” he said.

“What happened to freedom?” said Jessette Bautista, 21, who began smoking when she was 17 and pointed out that, unlike alcohol, cigarettes do not alter a person’s state of mind.  “Cigarettes will not intoxicate you the same way as alcohol,” she said. “It will not put you under any influence.”

But the new legislation, which must be approved by the Council and signed by the mayor, is likely to be enacted since it is being promoted by Quinn and is supported by Mayor Bloomberg.

Officials believe the proposal would potentially reduce the smoking rate among 18- to 20-year-olds by 55 percent, and by two-thirds among 14- to 17-year-olds.

What’s your opinion? Please include your comments below or on our Long Island Living Discussion Forum.