NY bans tobacco sales to under 21s
Tobacco sales will be banned to under-21s in New York in a new health drive by mayor Michael Bloomberg.
City health officials hope that raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will lead to a big decline in smoking rates in a critical age group. Most smokers get addicted to cigarettes before 21, and then have trouble quitting.
The ban has limitations, in terms of its ability to stop young people from picking up the deadly habit. Teenagers can still possess tobacco legally. Children will still be able to steal cigarettes from their parents, take them from friends or buy them from the black-market dealers who are common in many neighbourhoods.