Saratoga County may raise smoking age to 21 – New York News

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. >> Saratoga County is considering adoption of a local law that would prohibit tobacco product sales to anyone under 21.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at county offices in Ballston Spa, and the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the measure later that month.

Similar laws have already been approved in New York City, Albany and Schenectady counties, and Warren County is moving forward on it.

“This is something we’ve wanted for a long time,” said Catherine Duncan, Saratoga County public health director. “It would be fabulous.”


The law applies to cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia including rolling papers.

The public is invited to a free “Lunch & Learn” program at noon Friday at Longfellow’s Restaurant where information about the under 21 tobacco initiative will be presented. The event is organized by Glens Falls Hospital, whose state-funded Living Tobacco-Free program is in its fourth year.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently named Saratoga County the state’s healthiest county for the second straight year, 2015 and 2016. So banning cigarette sales to people under 21 is a way to continue that track record, Duncan said.

Ballston Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak has spearheaded efforts to have the county adopt the law. Public Health Committee Chairman Vincent DeLucia, R-Malta, said this will likely happen at the Board of Supervisors’ October meeting.

If approved, the law would take effect Jan. 1, 2018….

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