NYC Tobacco Law: Minimum Age Raised to 21

    November 19, 2013

Young smokers living in New York City are going to have to leave city limits to purchase a pack of cigarettes thanks to the new law Mayor Michael Bloomberg just signed. The law, which goes into effect in May 2014, not only prohibits people under 21 from buying tobacco products in the city, but will also raise the price of a single pack of cigarettes to a minimum of $10.50. This law reportedly makes NYC the only city in America that prohibits tobacco sales to young adults.

For anyone who is worried about how this law will impact small business owners, Bloomberg says the focus should be more on health. “People always try to put things like selling cigarettes in the context of jobs and whether or not it helps or hurts stores,” Bloomberg said at the bill signing ceremony. “I think that is just so outrageously misplaced. This is an issue of whether we’re going to kill people. This century a billion people will die from smoking around the world. And we don’t want any of the people to die to be New Yorkers.”

The law will affect around 27,000 smokers between ages 18 and 20. Bloomberg is hopeful that this law will, at a minimum, reduce these young smokers’ habits and that it will curb smoking in young people who aren’t yet old enough to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. These young smokers aren’t completely out of luck though–they can still possess tobacco products under the new law, but they will have to travel outside of city limits to make their purchases.

While a lot of people are happy with the new law since it could possibly decrease tobacco addiction in young people, some people believe this is yet another move by Bloomberg to turn NYC into a nanny state. Would you like to see a similar tobacco law go into place in your city? Respond below.

Aside from signing a law to restrict tobacco sales, Bloomberg also signed a law banning trans fats from restaurants in NYC. The FDA decided earlier this month to follow in Bloomberg’s steps by banning trans fats. Bloomberg also tried to limit soda consumption by banning the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces, but that was eventually declared unconstitutional.

[Image via YouTube]