The New York City Smoking Age Is Officially 21 Now

The New York City Smoking Age Is Officially 21 Now
Photo Credit: theirhistory via Compfight cc

Dear smug 19-year-olds: Mayor Bloomberg has finally got your number. He has just signed a law raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. The City Council passed the legislation in October by a margin of 35 to 10. Outgoing Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas A Farley proposed the age hike in April, hoping to target would-be smokers at the age at which they are most likely to develop a nicotine addiction. The new law makes New York the first major city in America with such tight restrictions.

See also: New York City Council Approves Cigarette Purchase Age Change from 18 to 21

Bloomberg also signed a law to curb cigarette tax evasion. The mayor's office promised to levy harsher punishments and to recapture that lost income, totaling $500 million lost to New York State in 2009. The new law will also help to make competition between cigarette sellers more fair.

"Cigarette tax evasion puts law-abiding retailers at a competitive disadvantage relative to retailers and street sellers selling untaxed cigarettes," says the Mayor's office in a statement.

The laws do not take effect for another 180 days. Dear NYU freshmen, stock up while you still can.

Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >