Proposal to Raise Cigarette Age to 21 Is Quinn's Latest Bloomberg Move
As you've might've heard by now, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn came together yesterday to announce the latest public health proposal; one that will piss off every underage teenager from here to 7-Eleven.
In New York City, the age to purchase cigarettes might raise from 19 to 21, placing smoking on the same plateau as drinking. You'll be able to vote, join the military, pay taxes and legally secede from your parents (all actions which kinda demand anxious chain-smoking) but that pack of Parliaments will be off limits. In effect, the proposal would make the Big Apple's smoking regulations the stricest in the country.
And, since everything is political, the proposal could hurt Quinn's mayoral campaign.
At the press conference, Farley was the representative for the Bloomberg administration but Quinn was the political mouthpiece. Her presence signified her dedication to public health, should she take the place of her boss come November--an initiative that Bloomberg has made a central part of his decade-long tenure. By way of his cigarette taxes and smoking bans, a proposal to raise the smoking age is a move he would make, plain and simple.
So it casts Quinn in a light she's been trying to escape over the past few months; one where she is overshadowed by her boss as his political minion in the City Council and, maybe in a few months, City Hall. And this problem seems to grow every week: Just this past Saturday, she was booed at a mayoral forum for following her boss's footsteps regarding real estate developer ties before she even showed up to the damn thing. Whatever she does, she cannot escape this guy.
Quinn still holds a dominant lead with 28 percent of Democratic voters on her side. But, if this problem continues to persist, where voters are seriously not happy that she is Bloomberg Part II, we might not see that frontrunner status last too long. And, if anything, this proposal just fanned that fire.
At least it'll probably be good for young smokers, right?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.