Age to Purchase Tobacco in Cattaraugus County Soon to Be 21

LITTLE VALLEY, N.Y. -- The Cattaraugus County Legislature on Wednesday approved a proposed law that would raise the age to buy cigarettes.

In a special meeting, the legislature voted 14 - 2 in favor of raising the age from 18 to 21. It covers electronic cigarettes as well as traditional tobacco products. 

Opponents argued the change would hurt local businesses, because smokers 18 years old and older will simply go to other counties or to the Seneca reservations to get the products.

Those in favor of the law say the health benefit trumps all other arguments.

"Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death so the idea that we're going to protect our young people from these products is a great thing and I'm happy as can be," said Jon Chaffee, Chautauqua Cattaraugus Allegany Reality Check coordinator.

The law will go into effect Nov. 1.

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