No Butts About It: Speaker Christine Quinn Wants Smoking Age Requirement at 21

Speaker Christine Quinn proposed legislation that will raise the smoking age requirement from 18-years-old to 21-years-old in NYC.

Speaker Christine Quinn announced Monday that she will look to have the smoking age requirement raised from 18 to 21 within the five boroughs, in a bid to end nicotine addiction and maintain healthier lives.

“Too many adult smokers begin this deadly habit before age 21,” said Speaker Quinn. “By delaying our city’s children and young adults access to lethal tobacco products, we’re decreasing the likelihood they ever start smoking, and thus, creating a healthier city.”

New York City would be the first major city to raise the age to purchase tobacco, though small towns in Massachusetts have done so already.

People who begin smoking prematurely are more likely to become addicted to nicotine in comparison to those who begin smoke at a later age. It is said that those who haven’t picked up the habit of smoking before the age of 21 are more than likely never to.

“When it comes to smoking, the science is clear: The earlier you start, the harder it is for you to quit. This proposal would take cigarettes and other tobacco products out of the equation for high school and younger college students during a time when they should be cultivating the healthy habits that will last them a lifetime,” said Legislation Sponsor Council Member James F. Gennaro.

Though most New Yorkers began smoking before the real age of legality, 60 percent of smokers are in favor of this new policy. The new policy would save the country billions of dollars in health care costs.

Mayor Bloomberg recently targeted young smokers with bill proposals that would restrict outward display of tobacco products in stores across the city.

Pic: Wikimedia

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