For Tobacco 21, our message is spread to communities through advocates who are as passionate about the cause as we are. For North Wantagh, N.Y., resident Randy Kovar, Tobacco 21 is a cause that he advocates not only in his own community, but he urges a change to raise the age all over the country.
“Tobacco 21 is so important to our communities due to the fact that it will save lives,” Kovar said. “I among many people support the evidence of the advantages of raising the purchase and consumption age of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and all forms of tobacco products up to 21. The opponents of this measure will be on the wrong side of history as this project continues.”
Kovar lives and works in Nassau County, which is adjacent to the New York City borough of Queens. New York City implemented Tobacco 21 in May 2014, and Nassau County’s tobacco purchase age is set at 19 years of age. Although a previous Tobacco 21 initiative had failed in Nassau County, Kovar is persistent in his efforts to raising the age in his county and protecting future generations of Long Islanders.
“I believe it will saves the lives of many young people from starting the filthy habit at such a young age,” Kovar said.
As a long-time Tobacco 21 advocate, Kovar is optimistic about the future of Tobacco 21 in Nassau County and communities across the country. His key advice is persistence and never giving up.
“My advice to current and future advocates is that if they feel strongly about raising the age of this product to 21 is to stand your ground and not ever give up,” Kovar said. “I urge them to call their elected officials and talk to their friends and neighbors and take it to social media. I know personally is that I will not ever change my mind or back down from pursuing this issue. I am staying with it.”
If you’d like to become an advocate in your community like Randy, download our advocacy materials HERE!