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NYC Proposes Raising Minimum Age to Buy Cigarettes

NYC proposes raising minimum age to buy cigarettes
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

A proposal introduced Monday would raise the minimum age requirements for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 in New York City, giving it the strictest age limit of all major US cities.

Should Michigan follow suit?

The plan, introduced by the city’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley and NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, would make it illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products, but would not make it a crime for underage individuals to possess the products or even to smoke.

Farley and Quinn said many people experiment with tobacco as teens or young adults, but often cross over from experimental to habitual smoking around age 20.

“With this legislation, we’ll be targeting the age group at which the overwhelming majority of smokers start.”

The age requirement to purchase tobacco is 18 in 46 US states and DC; Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, and Utah have all raised the minimum age to 19.

Good idea? Should Michigan raise its minimum age requirements for purchasing cigarettes?

- George McIntyre
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