New York Increased Age to Buy Cigarettes to 21
On Wednesday, October 30, New York city has adopted a new law which imposes a number of restrictions on tobacco purchases. The law increases legal age for buying any type of tobacco (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos) from 18 to 21.
The anti-tobacco law was adopted by City Council and signed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. It comes into action six months after signing.
The law sparked protests mong people who say that New Yorkers under 21 have the right to vote, drive a car and to fight in wars and they are adult enough to decide to buy cigarettes or not.
Bloomberg says that the increased age to buy cigarettes would prevent people from becoming addicted in yonger age.
According to Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker, the law will save many lives because the earlier people began smoking, the more increased are risks for getting addicted. Since the beginning of Bloomberg’s administration in the New York city, youth smoking has dropped from 17.6% in 2001 to 8,5% in 2007. These days the indices are stable.
Besides increasing the age for puchasing cigarettes, there were approved other anti-smoking measures, which include establishing a minimum price of $10.50 a pack for cigarettes and little cigars, ban on discounts for tobacco products and increased penalties for retailers who escape tobacco taxes.
Mr. Bloomberg puts a lot of effort to make New York a healthy city. During his administration smoking was banned in most public places, which made it a city with most severe antismoking policies in the world. However, there was rejected a proposal to ban cigarettes display in markets.
As to e-cigarettes, the City Council did not decide how to deal with them, as this tobacco product rises controversial opinions. In most of American states the leagal age for buying cigarettes is 18, some states have made it 19.
The president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores James Calvin, said that many jobs could be lost because the law would lower number of people coming in markets not only for tobacco but other products. Generally, he does not belive the law will reduce number of smokers.