Wednesday, February 15, 2017



Sullivan fine tunes proposed Tobacco 21 law

McGraw: "Create a culture
of health"

MONTICELLO – Orange and Ulster have enacted laws placing restrictions on where tobacco and related products can be sold and how they are promoted.  Sullivan County may be next to fall into place.

County Public Health Director Nance McGraw gave a detailed presentation on unique issues facing the county, at Tuesday’s Health and Family Services Committee meeting. She noted some already well-publicized statistics pertaining to Sullivan, that the percentage of smokers over age 18 is 25.5 percent, almost 10 percent higher than the statewide average of 15 percent. 

Raising the legal age of purchasing tobacco has been shown to decrease the percentage of people who even try smoking. 

McGraw quoted tobacco industry officials from half a century ago, that raising the legal age of smoking would “gut” their industry.

McGraw said that’s the point in a draft version of Sullivan’s proposed law.

 “Consider increasing the age of purchase from 18 to 21and no tobacco retailers within a thousand feet of school property.”

The law would apply to tobacco and delivery products including electronic devices.

Existing retailers currently within the exclusion zones would be grandfathered in, but McGraw said she is aware of only eight in that category. 

County Attorney Cheryl McCausland said she is reviewing the draft. “I’m working on some aspects of the law for constitutionality and analysis,” she said. 

There is no specific deadline for having a law that is ready for public hearing and final adoption. 


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