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NYC Wants to Raise the Age for Purchasing Cigarettes

Update Date: Apr 22, 2013 12:00 PM EDT

In its latest attempt to campaign against cigarette smoking, New York City has proposed raising the age qualifications for cigarette purchases. New York City and its mayor, Michael Bloomberg, have been known for their aggressive approach in promoting healthy behaviors and denouncing unhealthy ones. New York City's track record includes placing a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, which was more recently extended to parks, beaches and other public locations, and using extremely graphic print and televised advertisements of real life victims who describe their losses in life due to smoking. Other than smoking, New York City has also attempted to place a ban on sugary cup sizes and has also received criticism for their advertisements discouraging teenage pregnancies.

New York City's newest venture is to raise the legal age of purchasing cigarettes from 18 to 21. This proposal was presented today by Council speaker, Christine Quinn, who was supported by fellow council members, the Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, and other health advocates. This proposal adds on to the Bloomberg administration's plan on requiring stores to keep cigarette packs out of eyesight until an adult asks for one. The administration hopes that if teenagers cannot see the cigarettes packs, they might be less likely to purchase them on impulse. Furthermore, the administration hopes that if these cigarette packs were less visible, teenagers and young children would not be targeted as often.

If the proposal passes, New York City will be first city with the highest age requirement for cigarette purchases. Other states currently require cigarette consumers to be at least 19 to purchase. Texas recently attempted to change the legal age from 18 to 21 as well, but the legislation failed to pass.

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