Plattsburgh Smoking Resolution

Plattsburgh, Ny. - Plattsburgh Common Council is considering a major first step in keeping tobacco products out of the hands of teenagers.

According to Councilor Dale Dowdle, Thursday night the council will vote on a resolution to support raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from age 18 to 21.

The Clinton County Health Department is backing the resolution as well. Karen Derusha is a Public Health Educator.

"Between the ages of 18 and 21," Derusha said. "That's often where people go from experimentation with tobacco products to addiction."

"We do find that people over the age of 21 are very unlikely to start smoking," she continued. "So raising the age to 21 actually from a public health perspective helps more people not to become addicted to tobacco."

Antonette Knoedel, Stewarts Shops Manager, has a different point of view.

"I think that leaving it at 18 really wouldn't be an issue," Knoedel said. "That it shouldn't be an issue. There are other things that 18 year olds are capable of doing. Why not be able to purchase lotto and tobacco?"
   Tobacco sales are a driving factor at Stewarts.

Knoedel said, "Being in a college town-- you do see a higher number of customers who do purchase tobacco than you would outside the area." 

The effect on business though, according to the Health Department, is not worth the affect tobacco addiction can have on your body.
Derusha said, "The effects of tobacco use can be devastating. We know that in the end people can end up with COPD, lung cancer and it's an addiction. So once somebody has started smoking it can be very difficult to stop."




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