Any 17-year-olds in New York City ticking off the days until they come of legal age and can go out to buy cigarettes or other tobacco should probably know that the City Council just voted to move the legal age to buy tobacco products — and also e-cigarettes — from 18 to 21. Keep ticking those days off.
The change is an effort to keep younger people away from smoking, and would make NYC the first major U.S. city to increase the age to 21, reports Bloomberg.
And even if you are old enough to buy cigarettes, the council also voted to make sure the minimum price for a pack is at least $10.50 so your money will go quickly.
“This legislation will reduce smoking rates among New Yorkers — especially young New Yorkers — sparing them years of nicotine addiction and health problems,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement.
The measure passed by a vote of 35 to 10, and it’s expected that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will sign it into law.
“By increasing the smoking age to 21 we will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking,” Bloomberg said in a statement following the vote. “It’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start.”
New York City Council Raises Legal Age for Tobacco to 21 [Bloomberg News]