Long Island lawmaker wants to raise legal smoking age to 25

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A Extended Island legislator has released laws that would increase the age for using tobacco and vaping from 21 to 25 in in Suffolk County.

The authorized age to smoke statewide is 21. But localities have the choice to raise it greater. New York City’s smoking cigarettes age is 21.

The author of the proposed law, Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez, reported boosting the age to 25 will help save thousands of lives by discouraging and blocking young men and women from cigarette smoking.

Using tobacco will be significantly less alluring to a more experienced 25-year-old, reported Gonzalez, who kicked the routine 27 a long time in the past, all-around the time his daughter was born.

“I was a two-pack-a-working day smoker,” Gonzalez, 59, mentioned.

“The elevate the age law will cease the young little ones from using tobacco. There is a significant change concerning the age of 21 and 25,” Gonzalez mentioned.

He claimed acquiring an age 25 cigarette smoking legislation will “absolutely” make Suffolk a a lot more desirable spot to are living.

Suffolk officers and businesses are presently putting out the welcome mat to several wealthy New York Metropolis residents who’ve extended their continue to be at summer season homes in the Hamptons and other East Conclude locales into the drop all through the coronavirus pandemic.

“God willing. Every person ought to stick to us,” Gonzalez stated.

Gonzalez cites all the hazards involved with smoking, this sort of as leading to lung cancer, other respiratory illnesses as properly as contributing to heart attacks and strokes.

But he also pointed to scientific scientific tests that exhibit that the “rational part” of the human brain is not thoroughly developed until the age of 25.

“The using tobacco age must be enhanced in purchase to guard Suffolk County’s younger individuals from producing these kinds of a significant final decision until this sort of time as their brains are totally made,” he claimed.

Gonzalez said he expects rigid opposition amid the pandemic from the tobacco industry, comfort merchants and delis that offer tobacco solutions and vaporized e-cigarettes.

“I’m anticipating pushback. I’m hearing whispers of, ‘Are you insane?’ ” Gonzalez stated.

But he reported it’s a struggle worthy of possessing.

“That’s Alright. We’re conserving children’s lives.”

An proprietor of a chain of push-through benefit stores stated increasing the smoking cigarettes age in western Lengthy Island will just spur customers to generate about the county line to retailers in Nassau to get smokes.

“About 50 to 60 percent of revenue are for cigarettes,” claimed Aegina Angeliades, operator of The Barn, which has 15 merchants on Prolonged Island.

“It’s heading to make men and women in Suffolk drive ten minutes to a city in Nassau to get cigarettes. There is heading to be confusion,” she said.

Angeliades reported there ought to be a uniform using tobacco legislation across the location and state.

There are 18 customers of the Suffolk county legislature — 10 Democrats and eight Republicans. Suffolk County Government Steve Bellone is a Democrat.

A spokesman for Bellone stated he is examining the invoice, a spokesman said.