The cigarette-buyer’s age in New York City will be 21 rather than 18 now that the nation’s largest city’s City Council have overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to change the age, according to a Huffington Post report on Thursday. With this, New York City has a law that makes the age for a person buying tobacco products higher than practically all other places in the United States.
The new law not only increases the age from 18 to 21 for persons to buy cigarettes, but for other products as well such as electronic-vapor smoking devices. There is also a new minimum price set for tobacco cigarettes in New York City with a promise to increase law enforcement measures against the illegal sales of tobacco products.
The bill’s sponsor, City Councilman James Gennaro, asserted that this law will literally save many, many lives. Gennaro, whose parents both died from tobacco-related diseases, said that he’s lived with the concerns regarding tobacco, he’s seen it, and he feels good about the new law.
The city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, reportedly is a strong supporter of this new law and is expected to sign the bill. After he signs it, as required within 30 days, the new minimum age law will take effect 180 days later.
Those in favor of the law say the new age limit helps prevent – or at least delays – people from taking up smoking.
Those opposed believe younger people will simply turn to a black-market to get their cigarettes. Also, those in opposition have also said that people can join the United States Army at 18 and believe persons should also have the right to purchase tobacco products at that age.