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.