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Nassau Lawmaker Wants To Raise Smoking Age To 21 Like Suffolk County, NYC

FILE - A smoker outside an office building in New York City.   (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

FILE – A smoker outside an office building in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Nassau County lawmaker will make another push to raise the smoking age to 21 now that a similar measure was just approved in neighboring Suffolk County.

As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, legislator Judy Jacobs said her county needs to follow New York City and Suffolk County’s example and pass new anti-smoking legislation.

“It goes way beyond partisan politics, way beyond being selfish, way beyond waiting and waiting and waiting to do the right thing,” said Jacobs. “I think if we have an ounce of intelligence and a lot of guts, we will do what our neighboring counties have been able to do.”

Jacobs called it “shameful” that her legislatures refusing to act on similar health issues. She said she’ll use Suffolk’s new law as fuel to try to force her county to reconsider raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.

Republicans who control the legislature have said the matter should be handled on the state level, but Jacobs rejects that thinking.

“It saddens me greatly to think that we will become known as a place that doesn’t have the same concern for health reasons,” she told Xirinachs. “We cannot be a haven for smoking for younger people.”

On Monday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed into law a measure raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 19 to 21. It takes effect on Jan. 1.

New York City enacted a similar measure last year.

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