The tobacco-buying age has been voted to increase to age 21 in New York City from a previous 18 this week, leaving some residents happy about the change and others not so pleased. ABC reports this Thursday, Oct. 31, that young NYC smokers or aspiring smokers will now have to wait to light up their cigarettes or purchase other tobacco products until their 21st birthday rolls around.
Tobacco-buying age is something that has long been in contention, but not this week when an overwhelming majority of New York City lawmakers voted to increase the smoking-buying age from 18 to 21 in the populous city. Some view this change in NYC as a possible trendsetter, and that other big cities might soon follow suit in similar voting arenas.
The City Council’s vote over the legal tobacco-buying age took place this Wednesday, and makes the city the biggest in the U.S. to prevent 18, 19 and 20-year-old young adults from buying cigarettes, chew, or other tobacco products. According to the report, it makes NYC also one of the few places that has made a major lawful change in the hopes of preventing young people from picking up the bad habit by making the purchasing age much higher than before at 21.
In addition to making the new age limit also applicable to electronic-vapor cigarettes as well — as well as now charging a bare minimum $10.50 per pack price for cigarettes — it seems NYC is being a trendsetter in countering smoking, particularly against the U.S. youth.
Having the tobacco-purchasing age increased to 21 is also said to hope prevent a tobacco “dependence,” adds the NYC mayor in a statement.
“We know that tobacco dependence can begin very soon after a young person first tries smoking, so it’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg affirmed following the council.
Bloomberg is known to be a strong supporter of the new smoking limitations, and is all but confirmed to sign the latest measure. The minimum age to buy cigarettes and similar products at age 21 would then be put into official law in six months from the signing.
Fines will be high to merchants who choose to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products to under-21 customers. The current age limit is the common 18-years-old. Advocates for the higher age limits hope that the delay will prevent people from picking up the bad habit in order to prevent deaths, while those against it argue that those who are old enough to vote and serve in the military should have the right to buy tobacco products, regardless of the new tobacco-buying age.
What’s your thoughts on this possible NYC trendsetter?