With a 13-6 vote on Wednesday night, the Chautauqua County Legislature approved an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21-years-old.
The increase still must be signed by County Executive Vince Corrigan, but several reports indicate he will do so, including one from WRFA. Even if he decides not to sign the law, the 13 votes it garnered would be just enough to override a veto.
Once it goes into effect on Oct. 1, it will add Chautauqua County to the list of the first counties in the state to enact such an increase. New York City, which encompasses five counties, increased the minimum purchase age to 21 on May 1, 2014, while Suffolk County’s increase went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Albany County is currently debating an increase as well.
Retailers who violate the new law will be subject to fines determined by the Chautauqua County Board of Health, which while not specified explicitly in the new law, will be in line with penalties currently prescribed in the New York State Public Healthy Law.
Chautauqua County is the westernmost county in New York, with Pennsylvania across its southern border and Lake Erie to the west. It had a 2013 population estimate of 133,080 residents.
Update (May 17, 2016) — County Executive Vince Corrigan signed the increase the today. It will still go into effect on Oct. 1.
This story was originally published on April 28.