Opening a new front in the city’s war on smoking, the New York City Council has voted to increase the minimum legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Fight against smoking
New York will become the first major American city to implement such high age requirement.
The new age requirement includes buying electronic vapor cigarettes.
Across the United States, there’s a minimum age for smoking at 18, while some states have increased the limit to 19 and at least two other towns have increased it to 21.
Public health initiative
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said the new age requirement will prevent more teenagers from developing a smoking habit, saving lives.
City CouncilmanJamesGennaro, a sponsor of the bill, voiced confidence that the new age limit would prevent more young New Yorkers from becoming smokers, explaining it would “literally save many, many lives.”
Critics of the bill, however, have argued that many young people may turn to the black market to buy cigarettes.