On Wednesday, the New York Assembly gave its approval to a bill seeking to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21-years-old, sending the bill on to the Senate for its chance to debate the idea.

The bill, AB 558, would bring unity in the minimum age to a state that has become rather piecemeal, primarily replacing existing language in the state’s laws so as to facilitate the increase. It also changes some laws regarding private clubs and the minimum age of membership, as well as exemptions for things such as trade shows and conventions, as well as events sponsored by tobacco companies.

New York City is the most well-known municipality to raise the age to 21, but numerous other cities and counties have enacted similar increases in recent years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already expressed his support for the increase, highlighting it as one of several key pieces of his fight to reduce tobacco use in the state.

The bill currently awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

Featured image by Hromoslav (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.