Rockland law ups the age to buy tobacco products

Posted: Updated:
AIRMONT -

A new law in Rockland County requires people to be 21 or older to buy tobacco products.

The Tobacco 21 Law went into effect on July 17, and prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and vaping products. Officials say customers even have to be 21 or older to buy things like rolling papers.

James Weng, who owns a tobacco shop on Route 59 in Airmont, says the law change has hurt his business. But county officials say putting the law into effect was the right choice.

"This is the leading cause of preventable death, says Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul.

Nearly 90 percent of adult smokers began smoking cigarettes before the age of 18, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If any of the 200 smoke and vape shops in Rockland County sell to minors, they will be forced to pay $2,000 in fines for each violation.

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