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New York, new ban: City mulls age 21 law for tobacco buyers

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If at least one New York City lawmaker has her way, nobody in the city will be able to buy cigarettes without first proving they're age 21.

This is just the latest in a long line of health-improvement initiatives brought forward in the city in recent months — mostly spearheaded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The bill to bring the tobacco purchase age in line with the alcohol purchase age heads to the City Council for vote this week, The Daily Mail reported.

If it ultimately passes, that would make New York the largest city in the nation to limit cigarette purchases to those age 21 or older. The ban also extends to electronic cigarettes, CBS New York reported.

"This will literally save lives," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, in The Daily Mail. "The more difficult it is for [youth] to gain access to tobacco products, the less likely they are to start smoking."

Ms. Quinn is pushing for the new law — which was originally opposed by Mr. Bloomberg, The New York Daily News reported. Still, it's related in spirit to Mr. Bloomberg's own health-related initiatives that range from banning large soda drinks and Styrofoam containers to pressuring tourists to ride bikes and visitors to city buildings to take the stairs, not elevators.

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