Saratoga County is considering joining a small but growing number of counties to prohibit stores from selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 21.
The idea, which has strong support among health care providers, will be the subject of a public hearing of the county Board of Supervisors slated for 4:40 p.m. Oct. 11. The meeting will be in the county boardroom in Ballston Spa.
The board’s Public Health Committee approved the proposed law Monday, but not without lengthy discussion, said committee Chairman Vincent DeLucia, R-Malta.
DeLucia said he supports the under-21 concept being pushed by the county Public Health Department and Glens Falls Hospital’s Living Tobacco-Free Initiative, but not without reservations.
“It’s quite a heavy-duty issue. You’re talking over-regulation — telling people what they can and cannot do,” DeLucia said.
While the measure won committee approval, DeLucia said he’s not sure if the full Board of Supervisors will adopt it, given the concerns.
“I can support it because I know this is something a lot of the citizens prefer,” DeLucia said. “Cigarette smoking is not good.”
A provision of the proposed law that will be dropped would prohibit the sale of cigarettes entirely at any store within 1,000 feet of a school, DeLucia said.
“In some small villages and towns with the school right in the center, it may be hard for a store to be 1,000 feet away,” he said.
The law would apply to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia.
Anti-smoking groups say those younger than 21 are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction and are more…
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