You can be pretty much any age to bum a smoke, but to buy a pack yourself? That magic number varies from place to place and now San Francisco’s in line to see a change in who can walk into the corner store and walk out with the cigarettes they came for.
On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. It wasn’t by a slim margin, either. This piece of legislation scored a unanimous vote and seems to suggest this trend will continue to grow. New York City (“Home of the M&M store!” – your parents) has previously elected to raise the minimum age for would-be dart purchasers, which makes San Francisco the second-largest U.S. city to go this route. Boston and Hawaii have also gone away from making 18 the point of measure, and this new world could be wafting its way into a city near you.
Supervisor Scott Wiener provided the main push for this readjustment to San Francisco’s tobacco laws. He considers the passed legislation to be a major health victory for the city and the country.
“This is a big win in the fight against the leading cause of preventable deaths in our country,” Wiener said in a statement. “For too long, we have seen the horrible effects that tobacco use has on our residents and particularly our young people.”
The switch hasn’t happened just yet, mind you. Eighteen-, 19-, and 20-year-olds can still purchase their smokes legally for a while. The big change goes down on June 1.