Support Grows On County Board For Raising Age To Buy Cigarettes

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Catherine Borgia
Catherine Borgia Photo Credit: File

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Westchester County Board of Legislators Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) is getting support for proposed legislation that would raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 19 years old. 

Borgia held a special press conference last week to announce the support for the legislation. Board Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers), Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) and other elected officials and anti-smoking advocates joined Borgia at the press conference. Tobacco use stands as the nation’s leading cause of preventable death, killing 480,000 people annually, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

“It’s time to make it harder in Westchester for our young people to access cigarettes,” said Borgia. “Increasing the age for tobacco purchase to nineteen in Westchester is a good start in fighting the smoking epidemic and ensuring a healthier future for all of our residents.”

Borgia said increasing the minimum age to 19 in Westchester would "have a dramatic impact on the availability of tobacco products in high schools around the county," according to a press release. 

The proposed legislation has been sponsored by Borgia, Kaplowitz, Majority Whip Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon), Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) and Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye). 

“As a legislature, if we can facilitate even a small part in preventing our young people from starting this deadly habit, it is important that we do so,” said Kaplowitz. “As co-author of the ‘Smoke-Free Workplace Law’ here in Westchester, I am proud to support this legislation.”

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Comments (5)

Kaplowitz is "proud to support this", naturally, he supports any ideodic law that has no sense. He supported closing Indian Point without knowing where to get the power if the plant closed. He supported the non idiling law when there's no one to enforce it !! He also supported the "no zone" gas pricing, whereby places such as Bedford couldn't charge more then a less affluent town, with no one to enforce it as the Consumer Affairs Dept hasn't the personnel to follow up!! And, he supported the law mandating signs to post cash and credit card prices out in the open to be seen before entering the station..another law that couldn't be enforced and has been ignored. All BAD LAWS he supported!! He's another one that's been there way too long and has played both sides when it benefited him!!! GO AWAY!!!

I'd be all for it if we raise the age of HS graduation, voting and anything else that is required of adults to 21.
The idea we could send off a 19 year old into the rest of his life without the ability to decide how he lives it is assinine and insulting. If anything, lower the age for drinking and smoking to 17. Raise the age of driving to 18. Then send the kids off to the rest of their lives with the ability to function as a true adult.

Being protective of "our youth" is different than dictating rules on when to purchase a legal product as a legal adult.

Give young adults the respect they deserve. Don't baby them like a young kid. Or, maybe it's the older generation that needs to grow up.

As a society, we need to be more proactive with the health and well being of our youth. Let's stop being so worried about stepping on some toes. I would love to see Ithe age go up to 21-but 19
Is a beginning.

But isn't this really a state issue? Why have a maze of different laws across the state?

Its proposed laws like this that make people wonder why we even have a county government.