COUNTY LEGISLATURE RAISES AGE TO PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO 21. BILL AWAITS COUNTY EXEC SIGNATURE

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators Communications Director. June 5, 2018:

The Westchester County Board of Legislators has voted to raise the age limit for the sale of tobacco and related products in Westchester from 18 to 21.

The measure will prohibit the sale not only of cigarettes and tobacco products but also e-cigarettes and vaping products to those under 21.

The measure passed Monday night on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 16-1

Westchester is just the latest local municipality to raise the age for tobacco sales.  Earlier this month, the town of New Castle raised the age there to 21.  Last month Rockland County did the same.  New York City established 21 as its age limit in 2013.

Many counties across New York have already established 21 as the tobacco-sales age limit – from Cattaraugus in Western New York to Schenectady County upstate to Onondaga County in Central New York to Suffolk County on Long Island.

Lawmakers believe the new measure will dramatically reduce the number of new smokers and the likelihood of new addictions to vaping products, some of which have a higher nicotine content than cigarettes.

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D-Harrison, Scarsdale, White Plains) said, “This measure will protect the health of young people in Westchester, not only those ages 18 to 21 but also younger people who are more likely to have an 18 or 19-year-old willing to buy them tobacco and nicotine products in their social circles. This is especially important with the explosive growth of high-nicotine vaping among middle schoolers and high schoolers today.”

The measure now goes to County Executive George Latimer for his signature.

 

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