A legislator in Long Island legislator introduced a bill that would raise the age for vaping and smoking cigarettes from 21 to 25 in in Suffolk County.
The legal age to smoke statewide is 21. But localities have the option to raise it higher. New York City’s smoking age is 21, according to a story in the New York Post.
The author of the proposed law, Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez, said boosting the age to 25 will save thousands of lives by discouraging and preventing young people from smoking. Smoking will be less alluring to a more mature 25-year-old, said Gonzalez, who kicked the habit 27 years ago, around the time his daughter was born.
“I was a two-pack-a-day smoker,” Gonzalez, 59, said. “The raise-the-age law will stop the younger kids from smoking. There is a big difference between the age of 21 and 25.”
He said having an age 25 smoking law will “absolutely” make Suffolk a more attractive place to live.
“God willing. Everyone should follow us,” Gonzalez said.
But he also pointed to scientific studies that show that the “rational part” of the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.
“The smoking age should be increased in order to protect Suffolk County’s young people from making such a significant decision until such time as their brains are fully developed,” he said. “I’m expecting pushback. I’m hearing whispers of, ‘Are you crazy?’ ”