Suffolk County (NY) To Consider Increase in Minimum Age to Purchase Tobacco


Following on the heels of New York City’s recent increase in the minimum age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21, nearby Suffolk County will soon be considering a similar proposal.

Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer has announced his intention to bring a bill before his colleagues in January, according to a report in the Times Beacon Record. Spencer is also a member of the Suffolk County Board of Health, which sent a letter to the legislature on November 20 recommending the age increase.


Spencer, a surgeon who has his own ear, nose and throat practice, acknowledged that some might feel his proposal tramples on the rights of smokers, but defended his proposal by citing studies that show the teenage brain is much more susceptible to becoming addicted to the substances found in many tobacco products. He also indicated that his measure would create one age standard between alcohol and tobacco.

The proposal has already garnered one critic, as Legislator John M. Kennedy Jr. told the paper that he feels it is “an overreach on the part of government to control or prohibit conduct that has previously been deemed legal.”

Suffolk County comprises the eastern end of Long Island and is home to nearly 1.5 million people.

Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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