Bbc news — new york to raise cigarette sale age

New York City Council has voted to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

New York will now become by far the most populous place in the US to impose such a high age limit, the Associated Press reports.

The new age limit includes electronic vapour cigarettes.

Across the US there is a minimum age for smoking of 18. Some states have raised the limit to 19 and at least two other towns have raised it to 21.

The bill’s sponsor, City Councilman James Gennaro, said it would «literally save many, many lives».

Mr Gennaro, whose mother and father died from tobacco related illnesses, said «I’ve lived with it, I’ve seen it… but I feel good today.»

Critics of the measure have argued that young people may turn to the black market for cigarettes.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supported the bill, has 30 days to sign it into law. The measure would then come into effect after 180 days.

«We know that tobacco dependence can begin very soon after a young person first tries smoking so it’s critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start,» Mr Bloomberg said in a statement.

A plan by Mr Bloomberg to make shops keep cigarettes out of public view was shelved earlier this year.

Bbc news — fda says menthol smokes ‘worse’ than normal cigarettes

US regulators have said menthol cigarettes are more harmful than other cigarettes, but stopped short of limiting their sale.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would seek consultation on possible restrictions for the products.

The agency said that while mint flavoured cigarettes may be just as toxic as others, it was easier to start smoking them and harder to quit.

Menthol cigarettes are one of the few growing areas of the tobacco industry.

The FDA has commissioned further research into the subject.

It is inviting input from the health community, tobacco industry and members of the public about the products.

«Menthol cigarettes pose a public health risk above that seen with non menthol cigarettes,» said the preliminary results of the FDA’s study.

It also found the cooling and anaesthetic qualities of the menthol made them less harsh and more appealing to smokers.

The report’s conclusions echoed some of the findings of an earlier review from 2011, which suggested that a ban on menthol cigarettes would benefit public health.

But the tobacco industry has said that menthol cigarettes do not need to be subject to different regulations from normal cigarettes.

A group of former health officials, including two cabinet secretaries from the Carter and Bush Senior administrations, denounced the FDA’s inaction.

«The failure of this administration to act undermines the public health and is particularly harmful to vulnerable young Americans and African Americans,» they said in a joint statement.

According to an earlier study from the US Department of Health only about 25% of white smokers choose menthol cigarettes, while more than 70% of African American smokers use them.

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