In a measure that surely made Mayor Mike Bloomberg cackle with glee, the New York City Council voted to raise the legal age people can buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 Thursday. In the continued war on smokers in New York, the Council also voted to raise the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes and passed other measures designed to discourage people from buying the cancer sticks. They came with the added bonus of frustrating bodega owners the city over.
Few areas of the country have a legal age to purchase cigarettes as high as New York will once Bloomberg signs this bill, making the once-hallowed land of smokers one of the least smoke-friendly places in the world, notes the New York Times, where editors were seen furiously puffing away at the building's entrance after this piece first went online. Smoking is essentially not legal anywhere but the streets of the city or in private homes.
Ignoring the fact that three years will probably not make much of a difference when it comes to preventing New York City teens from smoking (after all, it's not like kids under the age of 21 are steering clear of booze), smoking is a crappy habit that can kill you. If you've lived in a time or place — as most of us have — where smoking was (or is) legal in bars or restaurants, you can appreciate how nice it is to be able to avoid other people's life choices blowing in your face. That being said, as my father, a former smoker who hated smokers used to say (I'm paraphrasing; there were a lot more curses involved), "Let them be stupid on their own time."
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