Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs bill raising the legal age to purchase cigarettes in NYC from 18 to 21

Teenagers above 18 can still possess cigarettes and smoke them, but they can't buy them in stores.

Teenagers above 18 can still possess cigarettes and smoke them, but they can't buy them in stores. (11/19/13)

NEW YORK - A bill signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg today makes New York the first major city to ban the sale of cigarette and other tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

City health officials hope that raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will lead to a sharp decline in smoking rates in that age group.

Some Bronx residents told News 12 that the bill makes sense and that the legal age should correspond to current alcohol laws. Other said that the law restricts freedom of choice.

The law will go into effect in May 2014.

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