Huntington - (WALK) History is in the making in Suffolk, as the bill to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21 will be signed into law Monday.
"Suffolk County is the first county in the nation to pass this important legislation," said William Spencer, M.D., the Suffolk legislator who sponsored the bill. "This is a measure that most agree will not only save lives but contain health care costs as well," he said.
Spencer is chairman of the Suffolk Legislature's Health Committee. His bill was approved last month. Opponents of the bill say tobacco products are legal and should be available to anyone over the age of 18. Supporters of the legislation say raising the purchase-age to 21 will make it more difficult for high school-age teens to acquire tobacco and/or e-cigarettes, which also contain the addictive drug nicotine.
New York City raised the age for tobacco purchases to 21 in November. Nassau county recently rejected a similar measure, raising concerns among anti-addiction advocates about teens from New York City and Suffolk buying tobacco products and e-cigarettes in Nassau.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will sign the bill into law Monday during a ceremony at the Tri CYA, 809 New York Avenue in Huntington (in the Big H Shopping Center, behind Famous Footwear) Monday at 12:30 p.m.
Photo: Edinaldo do Espirito Santo