NYC
04/22/2013 09:30 am ET Updated Apr 22, 2013

NYC Minimum Age For Cigarettes To Be Raised? Quinn Proposing New Tobacco Legislation

AP

Young New Yorkers could have to wait three more years before being allowed to buy cigarettes.

The New York Post reports City Council Speaker, and mayoral frontrunner, Christine Quinn, along with Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, is expected to unveil a plan Monday that would raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21.

Health advocates point to evidence showing earlier exposure to cigarettes is far more likely to result in addiction.

The proposal comes on the heels of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's own proposal to keep tobacco products out of the customer's view inside stores that sell tobacco.

Under the plan, the mayor is also seeking to raise the minimum price on a pack to $10.50, a price regulation which would be the first of its kind.

New York state currently imposes a $4.35 tax per pack, with the city adding another $1.50 on top.

Suffolk and Nassau counties in Long Island have already successfully raised the minimum tobacco purchasing age to 19.

In March, the city celebrated 10 years since New York City first established a no-smoking ban inside restaurants and bars.

In 2011, the city banned smoking in city parks, pedestrian plazas, and beaches.

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