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- More from News & Features
State Follows City—New York Considering Raising Smoking Age to 21
G. Clay Whittaker
Posted: April 29, 2013
New York state is following New York City in a move to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco.
Last week, New York City Council members began discussing the possibility of raising the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. That consideration was quickly made by lawmakers in another major city as well: Chicago.
State representatives in Albany, New York, have now jumped on the bandwagon. They announced today that several polls have already been taken examining the popularity of a statewide ban on tobacco sales to people below the age of 21, citing similar statistics to those shared by New York City council member Christine Quinn in her proposal.
If New York state manages to pass this ban, it would be the first state in America to raise the age limit for purchasing tobacco to 21 years old.
Glynna Schlesinger, who owns and operates Hudson Valley Cigars in New Windsor, New York, says that if the age was changed from 18 to 21, she would see a change in her business. "I get a lot of West Point cadets coming in. I do a substantial amount of business with them [she estimates more than 25 percent] and it would be a little detrimental to lose these clients."
New York City, meanwhile, is pressing ahead in its own crusade. A hearing has been scheduled for this Thursday to discuss the proposal.
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