Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Tayor Momsen Beware; NYC Wants to Hike Age to Buy Cigs

Taylor Momsen was a poster girl for under-age smoking in NYC while filming Gossip Girl.

Taylor Momsen was a poster girl for under-age smoking in NYC while filming Gossip Girl.

Taylor Momsen better watch out. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to tackle the tough tobacco lobby by hiking the legal age to buy cigarettes. The move will make it illegal for her to smoke again.

Momsen infamously chain-smoked while filming the CW show, “Gossip Girl,” in Manhattan. She was only 15 then.

She’s 19 now and finally legal to buy cigarettes in the city; the current age is 18. But the mayor’s proposal to raise the legal age to 21 will turn her, and probably countless others, back into petty criminals.

Back in 2010, anti-smoking groups called her out on her habit, criticizing her for the bad message she was sending to the 12- to 14-year-olds who watched her old CW show.

Incidentally, lung cancer now kills more women than breast cancer, which may have prompted City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to get behind the bill. She was expected to join city health commissioner Thomas Farley at a news conference today (Apr. 22) to introduce the measure.

The legislation is part of a multi-pronged effort to curb smoking. Another Bloomberg measure would force stores to hid all tobacco products from public view. And, yet another bill would lift the price of a pack of cigarettes to at least $10.50.

Bloomberg has been battling the tobacco lobby for years, with some success. In 2002, he won a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. In 2011, the city also banned smoking in parks, beaches, marinas and on boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.

Predictions of financial disaster by bar and restaurant owners has failed to materialize. They simply created designated smoking areas, which have spawned the term “smirting” or is it “flirmoking?” It means to catch a smoke so you can flirt with the emaciated young models huddled outside, puffing away to avoid eating anything that might make them gain weight.

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