1. The stores are doing what they are supposed to do. They’re not selling to underage people. Where they’re getting it from is one of their peers and this law extends that out. So, now the peers in the high schools, the older kids, can’t get it to the younger kids. So, they’re breaking that tie,” said Jon Chaffee of Tobacco Free Western New York.
2. “You can see chewing tobacco cans in backs of pockets. You can see cigarettes in backpacks. You can smell nicotine on people,” said Abby Proctor of West Valley Central.
One argument against the bill, 18-year-olds could just drive to a neighboring county to buy cigarettes. The county medical director says it still makes sense to raise the age.
3. “You would think they would just go five miles away and get cigarettes, but they don’t. One study in Massachusetts cut the rate in half of smoking in teenagers,” said
4. “I guess the statistics show that the earlier that teens start, the more likely they are to continue. This may help in the long run,” said Cattaraugus County Legislature Chair Paula Stockman.
5. Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death so the idea that we’re going to protect our young people from these products is a great thing and I’m happy that can be,” said Jon Chaffee of Tobacco Free Western New York.
Some legislators say this law would limit freedoms to legal adults. They argued if you can defend your country, you should have the right to smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco. The people celebrating this bill, hope it’s a step toward making everyone healthier.
For Cattaraugus County the bill still needs to be signed by the county executive.
A similar bill was passed in Chautauqua County earlier this year. That law goes into effect on October 1st.
New York City, Albany County, Cortland County, Schenectedy County, and Suffolk County have already raised the age to purchase tobacco to 21.