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Councilman Wants LA To Raise Legal Age For Buying Cigarettes

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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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textalerts180 Councilman Wants LA To Raise Legal Age For Buying Cigarettes

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles councilman wants the city to change the legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

A motion, introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz, stated that the majority of smokers start before they turn 21, and young adults are more likely to get their cigarettes from 18-year-olds.

“The social sources of cigarettes for young smokers are often individuals who are just over the legal age of 18, with a majority of those purchasing cigarettes for minors being between 18 to 20 years old,” the motion stated.

In 2005, the town of Needham, Mass., passed the “Tobacco to 21″ law. Koretz said over a six-year period, the rate of smoking decreased from 13 percent to 5.5 percent among high school kids in that area.

“It is important for Los Angeles to enact such a law, to reduce the number of young people who take up the habit of smoking, and the massive societal costs associated with addiction to tobacco,” the motion said.

The motion now heads to the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee and the Public Safety Committee.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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