Yesterday, New York City Council voted to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21. As the New York Times reports, this gives New York City the tightest restrictions on tobacco of any city in the country. Coupled with the New York City's ban on smoking in public places, it also gives the city some of the tightest anti-smoking regulation in the world.
The bill take effect some six months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs it.
The move to increase the age for buying tobacco products was met with opposition from those arguing that people under the age of 21 are allowed to vote, fight in wars, and drive, thus making them mature enough to make wise deicions about buying cigarettes. The counterargument was that this new elevated age would combat smoking addiction through pure discouragement.
City officials claim that the earlier people begin smoking, the more likely they are to become addicted to it. While the youth smoking rate in the city dropped by more than half since Bloomberg took offce, officials noted that it had recently come to a standstill.
This new minimum age also applies to electronic cigarettes, cigarillos and cigars.
[via New York Times]