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BCP News Brief – New York State Proposes Raising Smoking Age To 21

Currently the age to purchase and smoke tobacco products in most places is 18 but New York is now considering raising the age for tobacco sales to 21. Over the weekend State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly-woman Linda Rosenthal announced their plan to raise the minimum age to 21.

The proposal comes at a time when tobacco laws are already cracking down. New York City also recently proposed setting the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes to $10.50 a pack. Several states including Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have increased the smoking age to 19. If New York does in fact pass the ban they will be the first state in America to raise the age limit for purchasing tobacco products to 21.

While we aren’t sure how much this could harm cigarette companies we do know that it would come down on cigar shops. Owner of Hudson Valley Cigars in New Windsor, New York, Glynna Schlesinger, says if the legal age is changed to 21 she would see a change in business. “I get a lot of West Point cadets coming in,” she told Cigar Aficionado. “I do a substantial amount of business and it would be a little detrimental to lose these clients.”