Suffolk County Increases Age to Buy Cigarettes


Authorities in Suffolk County, New York, decided with majority of votes to increase legal age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21. The change comes into action from January 1, 2015, and it follows New York City’s law which increases tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21 that was taken in November 2013 and comes into effect in May 2014.

Back in 2005, Suffolk County increased age to buy tobacco from 18 to 19, and neighboring Nassau County.  did the same. However, this time authorities in Nassau County blocked the vote to increase the county’s tobacco-purchasing age.

According to Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory, some time ago Suffolk and Nassau counties worked together over laws, but they do it not always. The new law in Suffolk County will mostly affect smoking students at Stony Brook University.

Joshua Kim, a junior political science major, told that he will not be affected because he is over 21, and he thinks that there is no need for such a law.

Students who oppose the law speak about negative economic effects of increasing the age to buy tobacco. Joshua Kim adds that the law will have more negative effects than positive, because it will decrease tax revenue. Max Eckes, a sophomore geology major, is against age increase and says that they are adult enough to study at college and it is stupid that they aren’t adult enough to buy cigarettes.

In his turn, DuWayne Gregory claims that nicotine makes a smoker addicted and in this way it limits his freedom. It was estimated that most people start smoking at 18 — 25 years old and the new law is aimed to prevent young people from starting smoking and reduce smoking rates in the county. Once they start they become addicted to nicitne for life.

The opposers of law also say that at 18 a person must register for military service but cannot buy cigarettes. It is unfair.

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