GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus signed legislation on Friday to enact a law that would increase the minimum age for purchase of cigarettes and other tobacco products in Orange County from 18 to 21.
The Orange County Legislature unanimously approved the proposal in December of last year. Legislator James DiSalvo, R-Highland Falls, introduced the law a month earlier. DiSalvo’s father, Mike, a member of the American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership Team, represented him at the signing. Neuhaus was joined at the event by Legislator Barry Cheney, Deputy Commissioner of Health Chris Ericson and representatives from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Action Network, and the American Lung Association.
“I am pleased to take this proactive step toward keeping cigarettes out of the hands of young people,” Neuhaus said. “As County Executive, I want all Orange County residents to be healthy. As a parent of three, with another child on the way, I want to do all we can to reduce access to cigarettes.”
The Tobacco 21 law takes effect on June 1 of this year. Retailers who sell tobacco to someone under 21 could be fined $300 to $1,000 for a first offense and between $500 and $1,500 for further violations.