This week, legislators in Ontario County, N.Y. soundly defeated a proposed local law that sought to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and alternatives from 18- to 21-years-old.
While there are 21 members of the county’s Board of Legislators, the county assigns a certain number of weighted votes which is determined by the population of the town, ward, or district that a particular legislator represents. The bill was defeated, with the weighted vote yielding 965 for and 3,388 against. Seven of the members voted in favor, 13 voted against, and one member was absent.
Had it passed, the increase would have gone into effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State’s office, with retailers subject to fines starting at $300 for a first offense.
Ontario County is home to approximately 110,000 people. It is located in the western portion of the state, between Buffalo and Syracuse.