Age raised to 21 for Tobacco, but not bongs


By Jennifer BainBeth DeFalco and Bruce Golding

What a bunch of butt-heads!

The City Council voted Wednesday to raise the age for buying tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 — without bothering to restrict the sale of pipes and bongs that are used to smoke marijuana.

So while young adults won’t be able to legally purchase coffin nails, they’ll still be able to blow their minds with weed.

The anti-smoking legislation — part of Mayor Bloomberg’s war on Big Tobacco — is supposed to keep kids from getting hooked on the cancer-causing habit. But more teens currently smoke pot than cigarettes, according to the federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In its latest annual survey, 23 percent of high-school seniors reported getting high in the past month, while only 17 percent said they had puffed on cigarettes, an all-time low.

Under state law, selling pot paraphernalia is illegal, but retailers get around the ban by posting signs saying their wares are intended for tobacco use only.

The irony of the city’s law wasn’t lost on one self-described stoner outside a smoke shop on Sixth Avenue in the Village. “You can be 18 and buy a bong but you can’t put tobacco in it until you’re 21.”

Construction worker Anthony Messina, 30, who said he was visiting a MacDougal Street smoke shop for a tattoo, said: “Basically Bloomberg is promoting pot smoking, if you think about it, by changing cigarette laws and not bong laws.”

“People under 21 get around drinking and they’ll get around smoking,” he added.