Bring your own smokes to the Fair

After having a few wine slushies or a frosty cold Saranac Pale Ale one may desire to enjoy a tobacco product, whether it be a cigarette or cigar- especially at the Fair. However, both casual smokers and faithful smokers alike will find that they will not be able to purchase any tobacco products at the Fair this year.

"In an effort to continue to make New York state the healthiest state in the nation, we have determined that the sale of tobacco products is not appropriate on the New York State Fairgrounds and we want to encourage people to participate in a healthy lifestyle," fair Executive Director Dan O'Hara said.

Tobacco companies will no longer be allowed to sponsor any events on the fairgrounds either. That means the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, which has sponsored a rodeo at the fair for the last several years and paid $9,000 to do so last year, won't be back for 2007.

The rodeo will still go on, but a new sponsor will have to be found.

Some are saying that tobacco products just can't be purchased at the Fair, but O'hara stated that the Fair will continue to allow smoking in certain locations around the fairgrounds.

How these locations will be designated and how the new rule will be enforced is yet unknown.

Last year, three vendors sold tobacco at five different locations around the fairgrounds, according to O'Hara. That's out of 810 "points of sale."

The fair notified the vendors that they could no longer sell tobacco but encouraged them to come back with another product to sell, O'Hara said. "I'm confident he can rent the spaces," O'Hara said. "Money isn't the point.

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