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San Francisco Raises Minimum Smoking Age To 21

The city Board of Supervisors voted unanimously that anyone buying tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — must be at least 21 years old.

Posted on March 1, 2016, at 8:30 p.m. ET

Rich Fury / AP

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21.

The vote comes after New York City, Boston, and Hawaii passed similar laws. The Board of Supervisors vote was unanimous, and the law is expected to go into effect in June, the Associated Press reported.

In the rest of California, the age to buy tobacco products remains 18. Opponents of the San Francisco regulation said the city should not go against state law. Others said that if a person is considered an adult at age 18, they should be able to buy tobacco as well.

According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, 90% of daily smokers first tried cigarettes before the age of 19. Raising the minimum age of purchase to 21 would also likely make it more difficult for teenagers to obtain cigarettes through friends and classmates, the report said.

San Francisco previously banned smoking in public parks and sports arenas.

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