Under a unanimous vote, San Francisco city supervisors have voted to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
Chief sponsor of the legislation, supervisor Scott Wiener, maintains that boosting the age to 21 will discourage youths from becoming lifelong smokers.
The new law was inspired by a report released by the Institute of Medicine in 2015 with evidence that 90 percent of smokers began smoking before the age of 19.
The legal age to buy tobacco by California Law is 18 however, and opponents of the ordinance argue that a city cannot trump over state law. Tobacco industry official Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets also argues that 18 is the legal age at which an adult can vote and enroll in the military and should thus be able to purchase tobacco too.
San Francisco’s new law has been deemed legally sound and will go into effect on June 1.
Read full story at: NBC