SmokingWant to smoke a cigarette? You’ll have to be at least 21 to do that in the Big Apple.

The New York City Council voted to raise the tobacco-purchasing age from 18 to 21. The bill also sets a $10.50 minimum pack price for tobacco cigarettes and encourages law enforcement to monitor illegal tobacco sales.

“This will literally save many, many lives,” City Councilman James Gennaro said. “I’ve lived with it, I’ve seen it … but I feel good today.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been known for his public health advocacy, has thirty days to sing the bill into law. The new regulation would take effect 180 days after the mayor inks his name on the bill.

“We know that tobacco dependence can begin very soon after a young person first tries smoking so it’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

New York is one of few cities to increase the tobacco buying age to 21. New Jersey is considering a similar proposal.

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  • KG

    As controversial as Bloomberg is, I actually love that he makes a true effort when it comes to health. Too many politicians say that “America has a health problem,” only for them to never do anything about it when they’re in office. It may not stop young people from smoking, but the fact that he made that effort is admirable.

    Also, I would love to hear Bloomberg “sing” the bill into law. In fact, I would pay to see that : )

  • YAT95

    this is bullshit. I’m 18 and I’m an occasional smoker. And when I tell you 18 and 21 is not a big difference….

    1) plus majority of 18 year old people have 21 year old friends, so this doesn’t help.
    2) Nor does it help save lives because those same 18 year old people you’re trying to prevent from smoking, will be turning 21 in three more years.
    3)Let’s not forget about some social smokers, who will ask people for a loosey every now and then, and last time I checked, I’ve rarely seen someone card another person for a loosey.