The Chautauqua County legislature passed a bill by a vote of 13-6 Wednesday evening that will raise the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The bill cites findings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration study called "Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products." The study found that one in five high school seniors smoke, and that nicotine has a large influence on the development on adolescent brains.
The study also found young tobacco users acquire tobacco products from their friends. The legislation suggests that by raising the minimum legal age to 21, "those who can legally obtain tobacco are less likely to be in the same social networks as high school students."
People under the age of 21 in Chautauqua County will not be allowed to purchase tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, liquid nicotine and electronic cigarettes.
If signed into law, Chautauqua County would join New York City and Suffolk County as the only places in New York to adopt this policy. There will be a public hearing on this within the next couple of weeks.