The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure that would raise the age limit to buy cigarettes in New York City from 18 to 21
It’s the latest effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to target the cigarette industry. If passed, New York would become the first major city to raise the age for buying cigarettes.
“Why are we doing this? Well lets look at the data. Eighty percent of adult smokers in New York City started before age 21,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.
If sellers violate the sale to minors law, they can be fined up to $1,000 for each violation found in a single day and up to $2,000 for a second violation. Retailers could also lose their license to sell tobacco products, period.
Another measure would ban the discounting of tobacco products in city stores, but a plan to force stores to conceal cigarettes behind the counter before purchase has been dropped from the package.