The City of New York is considering a new proposal that would raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21.


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The proposal would make New York the first city in the nation to bring the minimum age above 19 and is part of a larger effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office to curb tobacco use. Last month, Bloomberg sought a ban on retail displays that might entice young people to smoke.

Bloomberg had opposed raising the purchasing age in the past, but he now supports the new effort which has been spearheaded by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Quinn is a leading mayoral candidate who has expressed her interest in continuing the Bloomberg administration’s public health initiatives should she be elected.

The proposal is based on the idea that young people make the transition from experimental smoking to become regular smokers around the age of 20, and that making it harder to purchase cigarettes will reduce the number of life-long addicts.

What do you think? Is this just more government overreach by Bloomberg’s office? Let us know in the comments section below!