Taking Action Against Teen Smoking


NY State has always been a leader in healthcare, and we’re continuing that leadership now by proposing the minimum legal age to buy cigarettes be raised to 21-years-old.

State Senator Diane Savino, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are all spearheading the initiative to lower tobacco use among young people through this statewide bill.

“If I could prevent one kid, one kid from ever developing this habit, this legislation is worth it,” said Savino.

“…in less than a week’s time, we [have] already [seen] legislation introduced in Albany,” said Quinn.

“Smoking between 18 and 20-year-olds could be lowered by 55% if the minimum age is raised to 21.”

Establishments failing to comply with the new legislation will face fines and loss of tobacco-selling licenses, much like alcohol and liquor are handled.

If this process goes through, NY State will have the “oldest minimum legal age” for buying tobacco, which is currently 19-years-old.

“…80 percent of life-long smokers start smoking before they are 20 years of age.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the entire world, and about 3,800 people in the United States had their first cigarette before age 18, and 1,000 individuals in that age group go on to become daily smokers.

Fun Fact: Walking for just 20 minutes a day can help teens quit.

Not-So-Fun Facts: Smoking is responsible for or significantly increases the risk of developing the following problems:

  • Heart Disease
  • Long-Term Respiratory Disease
  • Cancer (Specifically: Lung, Bladder, Esophagus, Kidney, Pharynx/Larynx, Mouth, Pancreas, Stomach, Leukemia, Nose/Sinuses, Cervical, Bowel, Breast)
  • Premature Death
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (more than double the chance in a woman)

To read the full article from Medical News Today, click here.

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