MOUNT MORRIS — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed Tobacco 21 into law.

Beginning Nov. 13, the legal age to buy tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and vaping devices will be raised to 21. New York State is now one of 17 states to approve raising the age. More than 20 counties in New York have already made the move including Albany, Cattaragus, Chautauqua, Cortland, Essex, and Tompkins.

This decision comes after much debate and concern regarding the safety of children and teens. According to the Surgeon General, 88% of adult smokers start using tobacco before the age of 18 and 90% of the people who buy cigarettes for underage children are between 18 and 20.

“This is an important law that will help protect our children from the leading cause of preventable death, initiated by tobacco use,” states Jennifer Rodriguez, Public Health Director.

The Livingston County Department of Health will continue to be responsible for monitoring and enforcing age restrictions on tobacco sales. More detailed information will be coming for retailers in the near future.

For questions regarding the Tobacco 21 law, call 585-243-7280.