Pittsburgh has acted to keep cigarettes out of youngsters' hands by requiring the use of tokens in all cigarette vending machines, while New York City moved toward banning the machines in almost all public places.
The token law was signed by Mayor Sophie Masloff on Monday. It becomes effective Nov. 7.In New York, the City Council's health committee voted 6-0 to ban cigarette machines in stores, fast-food outlets and most other public places. The proposal must still be approved by the full council and Mayor David Dinkins.
Both measures are among the toughest anti-smoking proposals in the country.
"We know that most smokers get hooked on the addictive quality of tobacco when they are young," said New York City Councilman Joseph Lisa, chairman of the health committee.
The measure would allow cigarette machines to remain in taverns, in hotel and motel bars and other establishments not open to everyone.
Under the Pittsburgh law, people wanting to buy cigarettes would have to purchase tokens from employees in the businesses where the cigarette machines are located. It would be up to the sellers to determine that the buyers were old enough to purchase cigarettes legally.