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Letter: Nassau should raise cigarette sales age

An investigator with the New York City Department

An investigator with the New York City Department of Finance points packs up the cartons of cigarettes that were purchased by an undercover investigator on the Poospatuck reservation. (Sept. 16, 2010) Credit: Charles Eckert

“Hawaii raises smoking age to 2l” [News, Jan. 1], should serve as a wake-up call to legislators who have prevented Nassau County from enacting this important health measure already in effect for some time in Suffolk County and New York City.

The alarming increase in the use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school students stresses the urgency for action.

The surgeon general’s report has emphasized that smoking, the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the United States, has killed 10 times the number of Americans who died in wars.

Raising the age to 21 to buy cigarettes has been proven effective in preventing young people from starting smoking, which leads to a decrease in smoking overall.

Claire Millman, Plainview

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Alliance for Smoke-Free Air in Plainview.