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Washington, D.C. to Consider Joining New York City in Raising Age for Buying Tobacco

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Less than a week after the New York City Council voted to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco to 21, Washington, D.C. will consider a similar measure. According to U.S. News & World Report, D.C. Councilman Kenyan McDuffie will introduce legislation today to raise the age limit from 18 to 21. At least four of his 12 council colleagues will co-sponsor the measure, McDuffie’s office said.

“Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 will decrease access to cigarettes, and, more importantly, may decrease the rate of smoking in young adults,” McDuffie said in a news release. “By restricting tobacco sales to young people, we can prevent many of our youth from acquiring a terrible, deadly addiction.”

While New York’s law covers e-cigarettes, Washington, D.C.’s measure would not ban the devices for young adults ages 18 to 21, the article notes. Many Washington, D.C. residents go to Virginia to buy less expensive cigarettes. Each pack of cigarettes is taxed at $2.50 in the nation’s capital, compared with 30 cents in Virginia.

A measure to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco to 21 has been introduced in New Jersey by Richard Codey, who was governor of the state when the age was raised from 18 to 19. He is now a state senator.

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