ELLENVILLE – Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in our nation and a major contributor to our ever-increasing healthcare costs. We at Ellenville Regional Hospital would like to express our support to Ulster County in consideration of passing the Tobacco 21 law. This law, recently passed in New York City, protects youth by prohibiting the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21. In fact, communities and counties across the country are stepping up to the plate and showing their support for raising the tobacco sale age to 21.
The vast majority of smokers begin before the age of 18 and almost all before the age of 21. As with the restriction on the sale of alcohol to those under 21 years of age, raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products protects the health of our children, prevents nicotine addiction and future smoking.
We need to act now to protect our most vulnerable population, our youth, by reducing access to harmful and addictive products. This is one way we can do it. If county leaders raise the tobacco sale age to 21, it will save more young people in our community from a lifetime of addiction, disease and premature death.
I hope that is a goal we can all get behind.
Vice president, Human Resources
and Community Relations
Ellenville Regional Hospital