YORKVILLE - New York State is once again grappling with raising the age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21.
According to staff at Bridges Tobacco Prevention, out of Oneida, youth is addiction's friend.
"The average age of a new smoker now in NYS is 13 years old. The adolescent brain is more susceptible to nicotine. The younger a person starts smoking, the more easily they will become addicted," says Sue Casanova, Community Engagement Program Coordinator at BRIDGES Tobacco Prevention in Oneida.
It also appears that youth is the tobacco industry and nicotine's friend
"It would affect us greatly. Because we see at least a noticeable amount of the population at my age range, being 20, for the e-cigarettes," said Bailey Dillon, of Smoker Friendly in Yorkville, of the impact raising the age to purchase tobacco products would have on the store.
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi supports raising the age to purchase tobacco products. Senator Joe Griffo says he's looking at the legislation with an open mind, but favors a discussion about establishing a universal 'age of adulthood', instead of having different ages at which one can buy alcohol, buy tobacco, join the military, etc.
Currently, the bill is in the Senate Health Committee and Assembly Codes Committee. It's not clear if the State Legislature will take it up before the end of their current session on June 20th.