State Follows City—New York Considering Raising Smoking Age to 21 | Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Aficionado

State Follows City—New York Considering Raising Smoking Age to 21

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.

"Back to the future! So we make it unlawful for those who are in the military to buy a cigar as well as have a drink but it is ok to go to war where bullets fly, bombs explode, away from family and friends but no smoke or drink. I guess we want them healthy to be put in harms way. I know this argument isn't a sound one however, we are controlling every little thing in our society. I understand that those put in office are attempting to prevent young people from setting themselves up for harm. But where are the parents? The family values? The respect of listening to those who know more than those trying to do things for all the wrong answers? I guess I am getting too old for this stuff. My parents were big cigarette smokers, I don't or ever have smoked cigarettes, neither passing on from lung cancer, mouth cancer, etc. I started smoking cigars at the age of 39. I guess we are living in a world in which I am not totally understanding, being in education for over 33 years hasn't taught me how to live life responsibly or cautiously enough. So lets make law unto law, as it is said "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"! So be it." —April 30, 2013 19:06 PM