NEW YORK - Smokers under 21 may soon be barred from buying cigarettes in New York City.
The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to raise the minimum age for purchasing smokes -- and even electronic-vapor cigarettes -- to 21.
It's the most populous place in the United States to consider raising the tobacco-buying age that high. The city's current age limit is 18. That's a federal minimum. It's standard in many places.
Some states and communities have raised the age to 19. At least two towns have agreed to raise it to 21.
Advocates say higher age limits help prevent young people from taking up a hazardous habit. Manufacturers have suggested young adult smokers may just turn to black-market merchants.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration supports the council's plan.
NYC council set to up cigarette-buying age to 21, set minimum price for cigarettes, little cigars