Wednesday, October 3, 2018

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Tobacco 21 legislation approved in Putnam

CARMEL – By a 6-3 vote, members of the Putnam Legislature approved the Tobacco 21 Act Tuesday evening before a sparse audience at the historic Putnam Courthouse.

When the tally was announced, applause and cheers rang out in the rear of the courtroom where health officials, representatives of the Cancer Society and other proponents of the bill were seated.

Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, who pushed long and hard for the legislation after it cleared her Health Committee, smiled.

          “We are working together to protect our children because Putnam is facing a crisis,” Scuccimarra said. “This law will prevent our kids from getting tobacco products.”

Joining Scuccimarra in voting for the bill were Legislators William Gouldman, Carl Albano, Joseph Castellano, Amy Sayegh and Neal Sullivan.  Legislators Toni Addonizio, Ginny Nacerino and Paul Jonke opposed it.

Jonke agreed that smoking kills but he called the bill “feel good legislation,” saying it “is sending the wrong message to our young people.”

American Cancer Society Action Network Government Relations Director Julie Hart noted that “Tobacco 21 makes sense given 96 percent of smokers begin this deadly addiction before turning 21.”

The legislation also covers the sale of vaping products to young people which Sullivan described as the “real epidemic that is finally being addressed.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell is expected to sign the law.

 


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