Suffolk Becomes First County in Nation to Raise Smoking Age to 21

Man lighting a cigarette
Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/ Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed legislation into law Monday that raises the purchasing age for tobacco to 21 effective next year, a move that was backed by 10 out of 18 county legislators, including Jay Schneiderman, of Montauk.

Suffolk County’s smoking age is currently 19. Onondaga and Nassau counties also raised their smoking age to 19, as have the states of Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah. New York City raised the age to 21 as of April 1, 2014.

The law, which becomes effective January 15, 2015, applies to cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes.

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