Friday, March 17, 2017

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Sullivan citizens speak in favor of Tobacco 21; law on hold for a month

MONTICELLO – Several residents, including many in the health profession spoke, at times passionately, in support of local Sullivan County law that would raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.  They will have to wait another month for the legislature to hold another public hearing and then vote to adopt the law.

Amanda Langseder is director of Community Health for the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, which includes Catskill Regional Medical Center in Sullivan County.  She said she is proud to be a county resident, because of what the county is doing to get out of the bottom among New York State counties, for health outcomes.

“Today, together, we are taking major steps to lead our county out of the bottom of the health rankings, but more importantly, we are igniting a culture of health in Sullivan County that will lead to a healthier, happier and more productive population,” Langseder said. 

Many others voiced similar sentiments. 

Ken Walter, however, said while he supports the broad purpose of the law, he had some concerns with legal technicalities including clearly defining places that sell related products, including vapor devices, and types of stores, such as “headshops.”

“So I think all of these got to be somehow included in the law more definitely so people know what we’re looking at,” he said.

Walter’s other concern was possibly exposing the county to litigation because some store owners could contend the law makes their properties less valuable on the resell market. 

County Attorney Cheryl McCausland agreed and said the law should be tabled for a month so she can clean up the language.

Another public hearing, and likely a vote to adopt, will come at the April 20th full legislature meeting.

 


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