Health groups push to raise NY smoking age to 21

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Prominent health groups including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and American Lung Association are pushing to raise the smoking age to 21 across New York state.

The organizations on Wednesday urged lawmakers to act on the proposal before adjourning for the year next week.

A growing number of local communities including New York City, Nassau County and Westchester County have already raised their smoking ages to 21.

Statistics show that the overwhelming majority of smokers pick up the habit before turning 21.

Kristina Wieneke of the American Lung Association says local efforts to raise the smoking age are encouraging and show there's strong grassroots support for the idea. She says the measure "should be a no-brainer" for lawmakers.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)