Tobacco-buying age laws have now changed in New York City. The NYC council just changed the tobacco-buying age to 21, making it much harder for teens to acquire the substance. According to a report from late Wednesday (Oct. 30), lawmakers want their residents to be older and wiser before deciding to try smoking. This makes it the largest city in the country to now allow teens the right to purchase cigarettes.
The council wasn't done there either, as they also approved a bill that sets a minimum $10.50-a-pack price for tobacco cigarettes and steps up law enforcement on illegal tobacco sales. Pricing people out of using the product might be one way to do it, especially if the cost gets to prohibitive to afford. As for how the law enforcement will be improved on illegal sales, that hasn't been clarified just yet. It could include more resources focused directly on those crimes.
What this new law could do is send teens to neighboring states to make their purchases, where consumers still only have to be 18 to make them. More tobacco-buying age restrictions are slated to pop up in other states, with several cities in Massachusetts looking to make the change as well as the state of Hawaii planning to vote on it in December. If these new rules are successful in keeping teens from picking up bad habits them they are probably well worth having.
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