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Should Legal Age to Buy Cigarettes Be Raised to 21?

Suffolk Legislature set to consider bill; what's your take?

The Suffolk County Legislature is nearing a vote on a bill that would raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 19 to 21. 

Legis. William Spencer, D-Centerport, is behind the bill and he's urging supporters to turn out to Tuesday's legislature meeting in Riverhead to make their voices heard. 

If passed, the law would prohibit retailers from selling cigarettes, cigars, rolling papers, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco or smoking pipes to anyone under the age of 21. Store owners would need to confirm identification before selling those products, similar to when they sell alcoholic beverages.

Spencer, an ENT doctor, has cited his desire to keep tobacco products away from young adults during the age in which they run the highest risk of addiction. He also believes the age hike would cut down on healthcare costs in the long run. 

But the bill does face opposition, including from Legis. Tom Muratore, R-Ronkonkoma. 

"I think at 19 you can make your own decisions," Muratore told Patch in January. 
"I don’t think we need government to tell us you can do this, you can't do that."

New York City has already raised the age to buy cigarettes to 21. 

A public hearing on the Suffolk bill will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Evans K. Griffing Building, located at 300 Center Drive in Riverhead. 

What do you think? Do you support raising the age to buy cigarettes in Suffolk County? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


cm March 05, 2014 at 09:20 AM
How much money are the illegals costing health care? Smokers pay taxes on cigarettes. How much taxes do illegals pay? 18 is the legal age. 18 they are able to make their own decisions and choices.
Organic March 05, 2014 at 12:14 PM
if they stop selling cigarettes it will create a black market. i don't know why some people think that if you make a law against something it will l solve the problem this is not true look at the drug war which is a total failure. i believe in harm reduction , let's pass a law instead mandating tobacco companies to stop spraying tobacco plant's with radioactive fertilizer which is the one of the causes of cancer associated with smoking. i guarantee if we smoked pure tobacco with no added chemicals or fertilizer's cancer risk's associated with smoking would be much lower. but the government won't make pure tobacco available to the general public. it's all about money people not safety.
Scooter Libby March 05, 2014 at 01:04 PM
Will the same rules apply for the inevitable marijuana use? Does not have the cancer risk or second hand smoke risk.
STAR dot STAR March 05, 2014 at 01:30 PM
I'm old enough to remember when gambling was a crime for which the government would arrest and jail you. Now that same government is the promoter of that "crime". They not only change the rules, they dictate a new morality to fit their new agenda. What they defined as evil yesterday, is now virtuos.
JDS March 05, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Chudley- you must be new to this insanity. these people have nothing to do but complain about their freedom and liberties and boil down anyone that opposes their views a hippie liberal. Because there cant be people out in their town that has moderate views. Smoking kills, it does raise the cost of our health care cost. but sure lets make it about freedoms. smoke all you want! it helps weed out ignorant people

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