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Hillsdale council says no to tobacco sales change (Pascack Valley Community Life, Katherine Milsop)

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According to a Pascack Valley Community Life article, on November 19, 2015, Hillsdale will not be joining the other 11 Bergen County municipalities that have banned the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 21. This is said to have happened after an ordinance that proposed raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21 failed to pass at the Nov. 10 meeting in a 2 – 4 vote.

Executive director of GASP, Karen Blumenfeld spoke in support of the ordinance at the first reading noting that youth and young adults are targeted at all levels by the tobacco industry. “Every single day they need to replace someone who dies from smoking with a new smoker,” she said. “Studies have proven that raising the age of sale to 21 will save a quarter of a million lives.”

However, after hearing comments from Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association (NJGCSA), and a local convenience store owner, several council members and the mayor said that they felt passing the ordinance would negatively affect businesses and ultimately not deter young adults from smoking.

The council moved forward with an amended version of a resolution that asks Trenton to raise the age statewide to 21.