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State lawmakers weigh bill to raise tobacco age to 21

ALBANY — Holy Smokes!

You can get married but don’t plan on celebrating with a cigar if you’re under 21, if some state lawmakers have their way.

A bill being considered in the waning days of the New York State Legislature’s session in Albany would raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21 across the state — the same as for buying booze.

Delis and bodegas who sell cigarettes as well as young smokers won’t be happy.

“By delaying children and young adults access to tobacco products, we will reduce the likelihood they ever start smoking and therefore create a healthier state,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), chief author of the bill, said in a memo of support.

The Assembly measure is co-sponsored by 26 other members.

Every year, 53,000 youth in the state under 18 become regular smokers, she said. Half of those who start smoking as teens will later…

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