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Letter To Editor: Westfield E-cigarette Local Regulation First In State

This letter was submitted to the editor by Lawrence Budnick, Westfield Board of Health President.  

The Westfield Board of Health met on June 2, 2014. 

After a public discussion, the Board unanimously adopted a new ordinance to set licensing fees for establishments that sell electronic smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes. 

Westfield is apparently the first municipality in New Jersey to regulate their sale since the State banned them for children aged less than 19 years old.  The funds raised will be used solely to support the Westfield Regional Health Department’s Tobacco Age of Sale Enforcement Program, which monitors and effectively deters the sale of cigarettes to children, and other smoking cessation, prevention and control programs.  

Measles is resurgent in the country due to some children not being vaccinated, and New Jersey has had cases in 2014.  Residents are urged to ensure that their children are current with vaccinations to protect them.  

Five public schools underwent vaccine audits and each was 100% compliant with State requirements.  However, these requirements allow for vaccine exemptions, so the Westfield Regional Health Department will develop new tools to educate residents about true vaccination rates in schools and preschool facilities. 

Seventeen food establishments were inspected last month, of which thirteen were satisfactory.  The four that were conditionally satisfactory were monitored and corrections instituted.  An additional 33 retail food establishments were inspected related to the Spring Fling and all were satisfactory. 

Two properties in town had rats, which are often more detected in warm weather.  All residents must keep trash in tight-fitting covered receptacles, especially during the summer.  Trash pick-up must be twice weekly for residents and daily for businesses. 

Finally, the Westfield Regional Health Department will sponsor health screenings with Overlook Medical Center. 

They will be at the Overlook Downtown Center at 357 Springfield Avenue in Summit on selected Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Bone density screening for women will be on June 23, June 30, July 14 and July 28.  Cholesterol screening will be on June 16, June 30, July 7 and July 21.  Each screening has a $10.00 fee and requires preregistration by calling the Overlook Community Health Department at 1-800-247-9580. 

Information about all of the Health Department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health.  The complete minutes of the June 2 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our August meeting in the Municipal Building.  The public is invited to attend.

Lawrence D. Budnick, MD, MPH

President, Westfield Board of Health

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