Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Cortland County, N.Y. wouldn’t be raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old. The county legislature heard a proposal for the increase and voted it down, calling it a dangerous precedent that could applied to other consumables such as sugar and soda.
However, it turned out that the legislature did in fact have enough votes to pass the increase. Eric Mulvihill, clerk for the county, told halfwheel that at the time of the vote, there was a misunderstanding of the required minimum number of votes needed to pass the increase. After further review and verification, it was deemed that the law did indeed pass during the June 23 meeting, and the correction was noted at a special session of the county legislature on June 30.
With verification of the increase passing, it will go into effect on October 1, with violators subject to a civil penalty in an amount determined by the Cortland County Board of Health, within the parameters of the minimum and maximum penalties set forth in New York State Public Health Law §1399-ee(2).
Cortland County is located in the central part of the state and has a population of just under 50,000 residents.