Rockland County Is Raising Its Legal Smoking Age
Over the past year or so, more and more areas across the country have been raising their legal smoking age to 21, thanks to the Tobacco 21 Act. Last year, Orange County became the first in the Hudson Valley to raise the age. Now, another major county in the area is joining them.
Rockland County Legislature voted this week to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. According to Denise Hogan, program manager of POW'R Against Tobacco, many smokers have their first cigarette before the age of 21, and raising the age could prevent them from forming the habit in the first place. Rockland County actually has a fairly low rate of habitual smokers, thanks to the county's anti-smoking laws that are already in place.
The one holdout in the voting process, Legislator Patrick Maroney, felt that the law should be handled on a federal level, and also felt the fine for breaking the new law was "too steep." Any store that sells to anyone under the age of 21 could be faced with a $2000 fine for a first offense.
So what do you think? More and more areas are raising the smoking age (18 locations in New York so far). Is this a change you want to see more of?