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Bronx Sen. Gustavo Rivera Supports Raising Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco

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Bronx state Sen. Gustavo Rivera has made it clear he favors Council Speaker Christine Quinn as the next mayor. Now he's endorsing her proposal to change the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21 from 18.

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"I strongly support any effort, such as raising the minimum age to buy tobacco, that will reduce our youth's access to these products and prevent them from becoming lifetime consumers, " Rivera said in a statement.

Rivera was the first state legislator to endorse in the mayoral race when he announced his support for Quinn earlier this month.

Quinn, the frontrunner for the Democratic mayoral nomination, introduced her anti-tobacco legislation this week.

Rivera's saw his own anti-tobacco legislation, which banned smoking within 100 feet of all school entrances, passed in 2012.

Nevertheless, in supporting Quinn's legislation, the Bronx politician said current measures are insufficient to curtail tobacco consumption by New Yorkers.

"We need to continue to find ways to discourage unhealthy behaviors and to keep our youth from becoming dependant on these products," he said in his statement.

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Guest Tuesday, 18 March 2014