NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to sign a bill banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 21.
The legislation, expected to get the mayor’s signature today, would make New York the first large city or state in the country to prohibit sales to young adults.
City health officials hope that raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will lead to a big decline in smoking rates in a critical age group.
A majority of smokers get addicted to cigarettes before age 21.
Tobacco companies and some retailers had opposed the age increase. They say it will simply drive teenagers to the city’s thriving black market.