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States Move to Raise Smoking Age to 19 or 21

In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed, requiring states to raise the legal drinking age to 21 (to this day, it remains 18 in most of the world).

In 2014, we may very well see a National Minimum Smoking Age Act which raises the smoking age to 19 or even 21. This is already the case in several places — the legal smoking age is now 19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah and some counties in New York.

A quick Google search on “smoking age” reveals a constant crusade by lawmakers to raise the age for tobacco purchasing. A few years back, Connecticut considered a bill to raise the legal smoking age to 21. So did California and Oregon. Other places that have tried to raise the smoking age to 19 include Texas and New York City.

Current negative attitudes toward cigarette smoking are driving the trend. A recent Rasmussen survey found that one-quarter of Americans would like to see cigarettes banned altogether.

The push to raise the smoking age to 19 is just one item on the agenda of an important upcoming public hearing by the New York State Senate Health Committee. The New York Tobacconists Association has urged smoking rights advocates to attend and make their voice heard. Here in New York, smoker’s rights are being demolished left and right. From the press release:

“The New York State Senate Health Committee will be holding a public hearing on September 23 at 10 AM taking place 250 Broadway, 19th Fl., New York City… We need every retailer to attend this meeting as well as customers and manufactures We must overwhelm them and show the legislators that enough is enough and we are not going to put up with the endless harassment, persecution, and discrimination. This prohibition by increments stops now. Failure is not an option!”