You now have to be 21 to buy tobacco, vape products in Westchester

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County lawmakers raised the age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 in a vote Monday night.

The county Board of Legislators voted 16-1 to increase the age to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes, rolling papers and other products. Only Republican Minority Leader John Testa voted no.

Increasing the age will reduce the amount of people who become regular smokers, lawmakers said.

The change is expected to be signed into law by county Executive George Latimer. It goes into effect 60 days from when it’s enacted.

Westchester is the latest municipality to up the age to 21, after a similar measure became law in Rockland County in April. The town of New Castle in Westchester passed its own bill to increase the age earlier last month.

The statewide age is 18, but municipalities can choose to increase the age on their own. New York City and several other counties have been upped to 21. The minimum age in Nassau County is 19.

The state has debated raising the statewide age for tobacco products to 21.

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June 4, 2018