The Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein is pleased to announce that on June 7, 2018, he signed Local Law Number 7 (Tobacco 21), which was passed in May by the Ulster County Legislature.
This law raises the age of tobacco purchase in Ulster County to 21 and will take effect on January 1, 2019. Tobacco 21 builds on Ulster County's strong commitment to public health and reducing smoking-related illnesses. Previously, the County Executive worked with the County Legislature to restrict smoking on county-owned property and enhance enforcement of laws prohibiting the marketing of tobacco products to youth. Each day it is estimated that more than 3,200 children under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. This law will improve long-term health outcomes and help protect Ulster County's youth, increasing their opportunity for a stronger, healthier, and brighter future. Simply put, it will greatly reduce human suffering, and that is why County Executive Mike Hein has been a strong advocate for the passing of this legislation.
This marks a three-year hard-fought victory for Ulster County and many public health advocates and those in the healthcare community who have sought to reduce youth smoking rates by delaying the age at which smokers start. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 as the result of secondhand smoke.
"I am proud to sign Tobacco 21 into law today and recognize the incredibly important work by our department of Health and Mental Health and local community partners to advance this vital legislation. It will help prevent many people from ever experiencing the severe health impacts of smoking in the future by making it more difficult to start," said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein on June 7th.
Check out a short video about tobacco, discussed by the Ulster County Department of Health and Mental Health Commissioner, Dr. Carol M. Smith, MD, MPH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFj_BVEcABg&feature=youtu.be
June 18, 2018:
County Executive Mike Hein Signs Legislation Raising The Age To Purchase Tobacco Products To 21 Into Law- http://ulstercountyny.gov/news/county-executive-mike-hein-signs-legislation-raising-age-purchase-tobacco-products-21-law
From Left: Jennifer Clark, Assistant County Attorney; Steve Kelley, President & CEO, Ellenville Regional Hospital; Ulster County Legislator Tracey Bartels, Diane Moore, Coordinator, Ulster County Reality Check; Tajh Iniguez, Kingston High School Student; Ellen Reinhard, Director, TFAC- Tobacco Free Action Communities in Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan; David Day, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Health, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association; Ulster County Legislator Kathy Nolan; Ulster County Legislator Brian Woltman; Sandra Cassese, American Cancer Society, Vice Chair Cancer Action Network; Kyleel Iniguez, Kingston High School Student; County Executive Mike Hein signing law.