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McCoy signs law, raising tobacco purchase age to 21

ALBANY – ALBANY — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy approved a tobacco products ban for anyone under 21.

That’s not all.

The county law also restricts purchases of liquid nicotine, e-cigarettes, non-tobacco shisha, rolling papers and pipes.

McCoy says his approval of the law didn’t come lightly.

“You can serve your country. You can drive at 16. You can vote for President of the United States at 18, but you can’t drink and smoke, it was a tough call,” he explained.

Still, McCoy points to the need to curb early smoking.

“I’m hoping the revenue that we’re losing is going to make up for the revenue we’re spending on health care. Because there’s a lot of illnesses and cancer related to people smoking, so really, at the end of the day, it should balance itself out,” he continued.

Critics are skeptical, to say the least.

“I don’t know what they think they’re achieving. If they think they’re fooling the public, they’re not,” said Richard Metzger, owner of Coulson’s News and Deli in Downtown Albany.

“It’s just for show. A grand show. (Leaders are saying,) ‘Look what we’ve done in Albany County.’ While the rest of the counties are all selling (tobacco products) hand over fist.”

New York’s Secretary of State still has to sign off on the law. As soon as she does, it’ll take effect countywide.

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