New York could soon be the latest state to join the Tobacco 21 movement, as today the state Senate approved A558, a bill that seeks to make 21-years-old the new minimum age to purchase tobacco products.

In addition to raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes, the bill 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.

The Assembly approved the bill in early March by a 120-26 vote, meaning that it will soon head to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo , who is expected to sign the bill as he 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. If he does sign the bill, it will go into 120 days later.

Currently, eight states have enacted legislation making 21-years-old the minimum age to purchase tobacco: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, MassachusettsVirginia and Utah, the last two of those group doing so this year. The list could soon grow over ten states, as the legislatures in both Washington and Illinois have passed similar ordinances that are waiting on signatures from their respective governors.

Featured image by Matt H. Wade, [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.