A bill proposing to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old was introduced to the New York State Assembly via a pre-file by Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal.
Assembly Bill 237 would bring about a change that has been the norm in New York City since May 1, 2014. Suffolk County, which covers the central and eastern sections of Long Island, raised the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in April, while neighboring Nassau County didn’t bring the matter to a vote in March.
The bill would also make changes to other laws related to places where people under 21 could possibly access tobacco products, such as requiring that private clubs have no more than an “insignificant” amount of its membership made up of people under 21. Tobacco distribution at conventions, trade shows and events sponsored by tobacco or herbal cigarette manufacturers would also be limited to areas where people under 21 would not be allowed.
The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee shortly after its introduction, a committee on which Rosenthal serves.
New York is the fourth most populous state in the nation with approximately 19.7 million people.