San Francisco Considering Higher Smoking Age

Those things’ll kill ya…

While not the first government in California to go after such a policy, that was Healdsburg and Santa Clara County, San Francisco does command a certain amount of attention.

With the measure being considered today, SF could join the likes of Boston and NYC to have the higher smoking age of 21 years.

Because cigarettes are being discussed, you bet there is opposition. (We won’t even start on the November ballot battle brewing over a cigarette tax measure.)

Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, says 18-year-olds can vote, serve in the military, and sign a contract, they should also be allowed to smoke. He also urged the city to hold off on the vote until Attorney General Kamala Harris has weighed in on the matter, on the basis that state law prohibits municipalities from setting a higher limit on smoking age. A spokeswoman said that the Attorney General has no legal opinion pending on the matter.

Proponents of the measure cite statistics saying that 90% of daily smokers had their first cigarette before the age of 19.

San Francisco’s city attorney says the proposed ordinance is legally sound. If it is approved, it would go into effect June 1.

More on SF’s tobacco vote can be found here.