Cigar Aficionado

Bloomberg Signs Bill Raising Tobacco-Purchase Age to 21

It's official: In 180 days it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy tobacco products in New York City.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in an unsurprising move, signed a measure on Tuesday that raises the legal age to purchase tobacco in the city's five boroughs from 18 to 21. The legislation, which easily passed a City Council vote last month by a margin of 35 to 10, was part of a broader package of antismoking legislation that included raising the minimum price of a pack of little cigars and cigarettes to $10.50.

In most of America, 18 is the legal age to buy tobacco, with a few exceptions. Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah and Washington D.C. (as well as Onondaga, Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York) have all raised the legal age to buy tobacco to 19, while a few cities in Massachusetts have raised the purchase age to 21.

Earlier this year, Chicago lawmakers also began talks to raise the purchase age for tobacco products to 21.

"Black-marketeers and bootleggers are happy about it. Prohibition is always good for organized crime. Way to go, law-and-order mayor!" —November 24, 2013 10:28 AM
"Stupid it's going to stop anyone from buying tobacco? People from the Bronx and Manhattan can simply go to Westchester & rockland counties or over to Jersey. Queens residents can go to Nassau County. Staten Islanders can just take the outerbidge or Goethel bridges to Jersey. Brooklyn, since it's surrounded may have more of an issue but it's not like that's stopped them before. Great waste of money Bloomdouche. More laws that are simply just not enforceable. Billions of dollars wasted on a room temp IQ." —November 22, 2013 12:10 PM
"Bloomberg hated big sodas and any kind of smoking, but he was always tough on crime. I cant wait to see what the new communist mayor coming in will do first. " —November 21, 2013 07:41 AM