A pack of smokes in New York City will set you back at least $10.50 — and only if you’re 21 or older — if Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs into law two measures passed Wednesday by the City Council.

New York is already one of the most expensive places in America to buy cigarettes.

Critics of high tobacco taxes argue that they disproportionately punish the vices of poor and working people, but that’s kind of the whole point — if you can’t afford to buy cigarettes, you can’t smoke them. Expect Bloomberg to sign the bills into law, as improving health through heavy-handed paternalism is kind of his thing.

Raising the age of eligibility for addiction, weight loss and a better shot at cancer is an uncommon tactic. New York would be the biggest city in America to do it. Then again, New York is the biggest city in America, so that pretty much goes without saying.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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