Main | Monday, April 22, 2013

NYC May Raise Smoking Age To 21

The New York City Council is expected to introduce an ordinance today that will raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes to 21.  The new law, if approved, will give the city the highest such requirement in the nation.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn plans to announce the city’s latest anti-smoking measure Monday morning with Mayor Bloomberg’s Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.  The bill is a clear indication that Quinn, a leading mayoral candidate, would continue some of the controversial health laws that have been central to the Bloomberg administration if she’s elected mayor. It comes in the wake of a recent proposal by Bloomberg to force stores to keep tobacco products out of sight, behind the counter or in a drawer. The city banned smoking in restaurants and bars ten years ago, and has also banned smokes in parks and beaches. City smoking rates have dropped dramatically.
Via press release from Speaker Quinn:
“Too many adult smokers begin this deadly habit before age 21,” said Speaker Quinn. “By delaying our city’s children and young adults access to lethal tobacco products, we’re decreasing the likelihood they ever start smoking, and thus, creating a healthier city.” “When used as intended, tobacco kills one-third of the people who use it,” said Health Commissioner Farley. “By raising the legal purchase age to 21, we will prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking and ultimately save thousands of lives.”
Nationwide the minimum age to buy cigarettes is 18, except in DC, Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, and Utah, where it is 19.  Smoking rates have plummeted during Mayor Bloomberg's three terms and one study estimates that over 500,000 residents have abandoned the habit in the last decade.  About 7% of NYC's high school students smoke. Nationwide that rate is about 19%.

Labels: , , ,

comments powered by Disqus