NYC Raises Age to Buy Cigs to 21

The anti-smoking measure is a capstone on Mayor Bloomberg's decade-long war on tobacco

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Burning cigarette in ashtray, no smoking symbol

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. And if you don’t, buy ‘em now.

The City Council of New York voted Wednesday to raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes to 21, to the delight of public health advocates and the irritation of young-adult smokers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has waged a veritable war against vice during his term in office, said he will sign the legislation, which will go into effect six months later.

In raising the age to buy cigarettes to 21, New York joins the Boston suburb of Needham, Mass., which took the same step in 2005, the New York Times reports. In some states and counties in the U.S., including Nassau and Suffolk on Long Island, a person must be at least 19 to buy tobacco products, though in most of the country a person old enough to enlist in the Army can still buy a cigarette.

[The New York Times]