New York City Council Votes To Raise Legal Smoking Age From 18 To 21

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]

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  1. whoscryinnow says:

    An anti-smoking measure that isn’t designed to increase tax revenue! Color me impressed.

  2. illusio26 says:

    While I’m anti-smoking, I don’t like this law. If you are old enough to serve in the military and vote for the people sending you there, you should be old enough to decide if you want to smoke or not. Not that you could afford it…

  3. whoscryinnow says:

    If you can afford to buy a pack of smokes, you can afford to drive to New Jersey. This won’t stop kids from smoking, but will make it just a little more difficult.

  4. TheRealSpottedfeather says:

    How is raising the age by 3 years going to reduce smoking rates or prevent a generation from ill health ? If people want cigarettes, they’re going to get cigarettes. It’s about as effective as prohibition was and the gun laws are now…..just doesn’t make sense.

  5. mobafett says:

    I fully support this and have had for years. If you can stop teens from even starting to smoke, you may just win the battle. It’s hard to explain to my teenage daughter how there used to be ashtrays everywhere and smoking was allowed in restaurants. It’s strange to cross state lines now and to be asked if we want a smoking room in a hotel, or a smoking table in a restaurant. It’s like stepping back in time. Smoking bans have changed the culture for the better.