NY State May Follow City's Lead in Raising Tobacco Purchasing Age

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NY State May Follow City's Lead in Raising Tobacco Purchasing Age


ALBANY, N.Y. -- Two New York State elected officials took a page from the New York City Council's playbook and proposed legislation that would raise the state's legal age to buy tobacco products to 21. Current law sets the minimum age at 18.

Democratic State Sen. Diane Savino and Democrat Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced the measure on Friday. They joined New York City officials for a press conference to discuss the proposal on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

"Anything we can do to stop young people from starting is a step in the right direction," Savino said.

The state-level legislation came just four days after New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined with other officials to announce efforts to raise the city's legal age for tobacco purchases to 21. The council's Health Committee is expected to review the bill on Thursday, as CSNews Online previously reported.

If approved by the city council, the measure would make New York City the first major city in the nation to have a minimum smoking age above 19 years old, according to a council release.

If the measure passes at the state level, New York would become the first state to set the minimum age at 21.