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What you need to know for 10/22/2017

Schenectady County may raise age to buy tobacco

Schenectady County may raise age to buy tobacco

A public hearing will be held in early July for a proposed law that would raise the age requirement
Schenectady County may raise age to buy tobacco
Ryan Moran smokes a strawberry banana-flavored Dark Horse vaporizer at a new GottaVape store location on Erie Blvd in Schenectady on Friday, May 1, 2015.
Photographer: Gazette file photo

A public hearing will be held in early July for a proposed law that would raise the age requirement to purchase tobacco products in Schenectady County to 21.

The County Legislature passed resolutions at its meeting on Tuesday night approving public hearings for both the proposed tobacco law and the proposed operating budget for the 2016-17 academic year at Schenectady County Community College. The public will have a chance to speak about both items on July 5 at 7 p.m. at the Legislature’s chambers on State Street.

Legislator Karen Johnson introduced a measure on Tuesday that would raise the age requirement to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine or electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21. She said it’s a strategy that’s worked in other places to improve health and cut down on smoking. A similar law was passed in Albany County earlier this month.

Legislator Brian McGarry expressed concern at the proposed age increase, saying he saw it as “another restriction on individual liberties.”

The proposal includes a section that says anyone in violation of the law would be subject to a fine. If passed, the law would take effect upon filing with the secretary of state.

The other part of the July 5 public hearing will be dedicated to getting feedback on the adoption of Schenectady County Community College’s operating budget for the period from Sept. 1, 2016 until Aug. 31, 2017.

The proposed operating budget for the 2016-17 academic year is $28,662,010, which is a $655,676 decrease from last year’s budget.

Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels 395-3113, bsamuels@dailygazette.net or @Brett_Samuels27

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