Smoking age change would have local impact

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Story Updated: Apr 24, 2013

While the drinking age was raised across the country from eighteen to twenty-one, never has any other state in the United States seen a smoking age regulation above nineteen years of age, but this could soon change.

New York City may become the very first city in the United States to raise the age to twenty-one for the sale of cigarette's. The city's health commissioner and the city council speaker announced the proposal on Monday.

Eileen Gleason, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator for Faxton-St. Lukes Healthcare said raising the age some can buy cigarettes will make for a healthier society.

Gleason said, "The longer we can prevent someone from starting the more success we will have that they will never start."

Gleason also recognizes that raising the age to purchase cigarettes will not necessarily stop young people from smoking.

Jennifer Todora of Smokers Choice said if this bill was passed she believes it would trickle statewide and have an effect on the store she works for.

Todora said, " Honestly, I think it would really effect our business here. We get a lot of newly eighteen year olds."

The store Jennifer currently works for also has a petition on another current proposed bill out right now to increase tax on cigarette sales from 84 to 94 cents.

If this bill were to pass, it would require the signature of Mayor Michael Bloomberg who supports the bill and the backing of the City Council.

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