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New York City Cracking Down on Young Smokers: Age Limit to Be 21

By HERWriter Guide
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New York City raises legal age for buying cigarettes to 21 Nekrasov Andrey/PhotoSpin

The legal age for cigarette purchasing is 18 in the United States. But Mayor Bloomberg (the same man who banned trans fats and super large sodas from NYC eateries) has now signed off on a new legal purchasing age for cigarettes. In order to buy the customer must be 21 years old, just like the age requirement for alcohol.

In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. It used to be less than that a couple of decades ago but in 1984, the national drinking age went up to 21 from 18 or 19, depending on what state one lived in.

While it's broken all the time, the law concerning the drinking age remains the same and can be strictly enforced by bars and restaurants. It's of course also enforced by a vigilant police force who is trying to stop young people from binging on a substance their bodies and minds may not be ready for.

And now New York City is following suit for cigarettes, despite protests and a little skepticism from some.

ABCNews.com reported that while a person must be 21 to purchase cigarettes, they don't have to be 21 to have them on their person. They can take them from friends or family and buy them other places like nearby states where the age limit is lower. Or, as commented on in the ABC News article, the black market is always there to fill a void.

EmpowHER has some great articles on how to quit smoking, an addiction that has been proven to cause disease and death. And even if it ultimately doesn't cause death, it can make one's quality of life pretty miserable, dealing with COPD, hooked up to oxygen machines and unable to complete daily tasks with ease. What is interesting is that women may find it harder than men to quit.

EmpowHER founder Michelle King Robson talked about a study that explained why it may be harder for women to quit. She noted, "Researchers now say that it is because women’s brains respond differently to nicotine ... When a person smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain are thought to increase, reinforcing the habit of smoking.

"The study shows that this is true for men, but not for women.

"Scientists say women smokers and non-smokers seem to have about the same number of nicotine receptors. Scientists cannot pin point exactly why there is this difference in men and women but say it could be connected to the hormone, progesterone. The study suggest women trying to quit smoking may be better off with a non-nicotine related treatment."

To watch this video, click here.

To learn about quitting tips, the CDC has some great ideas:

Tell Us
Do you think raising the age for purchasing cigarettes can impact younger people taking up smoking in the first place? Or do you think it's an intrusion on people's freedom to make their own personal decisions?


ABC.com. Health. NYC Bans Tobacco Sales to Anyone Under Age 21.

EmpowHER.com. Health. Addictions. Drug Addictions. Nicotine. Stop Smoking. Why Is It Harder For Women To Quit Smoking Than Men? - HER Daily Dose . Web. Retrieved November 24th, 2013. Web.

Reviewed November 26, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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