A current proposed local law that would raise the age for purchasing tobacco products in Essex County to 21 would have a real and immediate impact on individuals age 18-20 who are already smoking. If you or someone you know are among those who would be affected by this proposal, the North Country Health Heart Network wants you to know that there are programs and services to help you quit.
Last year, the Institute of Medicine estimated that raising the age to 21 would reduce the number of smokers nationwide by 12 percent. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 90 percent of smokers started before turning 19.
While the public health benefits of raising the purchase age are clear, it still has ramifications for those under 21 who already smoke. Should this law take effect, there are a number of local organizations and agencies in Essex County with staff dedicated to providing tobacco cessation counseling, including Adirondack Health, Essex County Mental Health, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Mental Health Association of Essex County, St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Services, and UVM Elizabethtown Community Hospital. The Heart Network encourages you to speak with your healthcare provider, who can refer you to the right program.
The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is another great resource for those who need help quitting: 1-866-NY-QUITS.
The residents of Essex County will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed legislation at a public hearing May 29 at the old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown.