Should New York State Raise the Smoking Age to 21?


Hazy logic behind push for ‘Tobacco 21’

By James S. Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, based in Albany.


In other words, 15-year-olds are resourceful enough to dodge the tobacco purchase age, but 19- and 20-year-olds won’t be. They don’t have any older friends or relatives who smoke. They won’t drive to any of three adjacent counties where the purchase age remains 18. Are you kidding?

Moreover, Onondaga County is awash in cheap cigarettes from a smoke shop in Nedrow that escapes county health department monitoring to detect underage sales. With this unregulated, untaxed, drive-through cigarette megastore in its backyard, how can the county justify telling licensed, tax-collecting retailers they must forfeit sales under a new purchase age that the Nedrow location won’t have to comply with?

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