The measure unprecedented among America’s big cities raises the legal age to buy cigarettes from 18. It also applies to other forms of tobacco and to e cigarettes.

It’s the latest of New York’s efforts to reduce smoking in the city, which bans cigarettes and, as of April 29, e cigarettes in restaurants and bars, in parks or squares, and at the city’s public beaches. Some private residential buildings have also banned smoking.

Cigarette taxes in the city are also the highest in the country $5.85 a carton, which brings the overall price to around $12. In addition, the city has established a minimum price of $10.50 a box for cigarettes.

Nataleigh Kohn, 23, who works at a startup company, underwent her ID check with good grace.

“It is a good thing. People in high school can’t start smoking,” she said.

Thomas Wall, 24, a former smoker who works in architecture, agreed, though he said the measure probably wouldn’t eliminate teen smoking all together.

He compared the new age restriction to the ones around alcohol, which set the US drinking at 21.

When underage people want alcoholic drinks, they often get them from older people who buy for them.

Shopkeeper Muhammad Arisur Khaman said he’s seen some complaints since the law was implemented, but not many. He just tells unhappy clients “It’s the law.”

The higher minimum age is “a step in the right direction,” said Pat Bonadies, a teacher walking with a group of students in Union Square.

The 52 year old said there has been a sea change in attitudes towards smoking.

“When I was younger, smoking was much more prevalent among teenagers and preteens in restaurants and social settings,” she said.

“Even my mother’s friends, they smoked during their pregnancies.”

The city has seen a sharp drop in adult smokers, from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.8% in 2011, according to official statistics.

But the smoking rate among young people has been steady since 2007, at 8.5%, which was part of the impetus for raising the minimum age.

Authorities hope that the new law will cut the smoking rate among 18 to 20 years by more than half.

New York hopes to inspire other cities to pass similar age restrictions.

Basicscard users buying banned cigarettes with welfare, bartering groceries for alcohol and cash – abc news (australian broadcasting corporation)

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For each participant, the scheme costs between $4,500 and $7,700 to administer.

The existing 23,000 income management recipients in and outside the Northern Territory make more than 46,000 calls a week to Centrelink to change their arrangements.

In a statement, a DSS spokeswoman said income management helped people better care for their families and themselves.

“Many families have said that income management has taken the stress out of managing household budgets, helped them keep utilities connected and assisted in clearing debts,” she said.

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest looked at income management as part of his welfare review for the Government.

He said, while income management had merits in some cases, the BasicsCard has not worked.

” Income management is a very specific solution for very specific communities,” he said.

” The BasicsCard is way too expensive and in some places it costs as much to administer as the income it hands out.”

BasicsCard users swapping groceries for grog

Addiction experts in Playford, South Australia, said they know of income management participants bartering BasicsCards goods for alcohol and cash.

Andris Banders from the South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services said addicts will always find a way.

“This doesn’t deal with addiction in any way. If I’ve got $200 in my pocket and you take $100 out, that doesn’t mean that my addiction is going to halve at all,” Mr Banders said.

“I’m still going to need that grog, or that drug, or whatever it is I’m still going to have to get it in some way.”

In Shepparton, a man known as Malcolm told the ABC he would simply steal alcohol if he was placed on the income management.

“You gotta have what you gotta have,” he said.

Mr Forrest, who has proposed his own high tech Healthy Welfare Card that works like a debit card, said the BasicsCard has not solved the problem of addiction.

“This wasn’t going to resolve grief and tragedy inflicted across entire vulnerable communities across Australia where they fall prey to drug dealers and alcohol,” he said.

“You hear stories from mothers weeping that their children will commit suicide if they don’t get money to get their ganja (marijuana) or their cases of cheap wine or beer.

“You don’t need to restrict drugs and alcohol to people who have no track record of having any issues with drugs and alcohol.”

Cashier told card user steak was ‘too expensive’

Anecdotal reports also suggest BasicsCard users face stigma and discrimination.

Pas Forgione, who runs a campaign against income management in Playford, said that, in one case, a cashier asked a young person why they were buying steak, “because it was too expensive”.

Another young man trying to buy a video game in Target was told to put it back.

Mr Forgione said there were also special highly branded BasicsCard kiosks for people to view their balances, which humiliated users.

“The vast majority of Centrelink clients manage their money responsibly,” Mr Forgione said.

“In Playford, what we’ve seen is that the people being put on income management are perfectly adept at managing their finances.”

A DSS spokeswoman said a number of reports and evaluations over the next 12 months would decide the future of the scheme.

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