KINGSTON – The Ulster County Legislature has passed a local law to raise the minimum age of residents allowed to buy tobacco products to 21 from 18 and sent it to County Executive Mike Hein for his signature.

The legislature approved the proposal unanimously at its meeting Tuesday night. The legislature hopes that by raising the minimum purchase age from 18 that fewer resident will become addicted to tobacco products and fewer contract cancer.

The legislation goes to Hein, who has been calling for action on the issue for at least two years and supports the legislation.

“This will save people’s lives,” Hein said.

His office will hold a public hearing on the proposal before he signs it. That has not been scheduled yet.