Pratt students steamed about smoking snub

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Council passed a bill raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 earlier this month without too much fuss, but the change has Brooklyn art students gasping.

At Clinton Hill’s Pratt Institute, where the air is as thick with cigarette smoke as it is creativity, some undergraduates are busy rolling up ways to get around a law that threatens half of the very foundation of their Camus-reading, nicotine-stained reputation.

“I will buy my packs in New Jersey and come on back and illegally smoke,” said Nicole Ryerson, a 20-year-old Prattite who will not hit her next birthday before the law goes into effect in about six months.

The tobacco toker wondered whether the measure is more of a government conspiracy than a health initiative.

“It might just be another way to get tickets and money,” Ryerson said, taking a drag.

Another artist-scholar we spoke to said it is misguided to take the musty habit out of the hands of the already-hooked.

“It’s skewed to have someone addicted to something and then cut them off from it,” said Michael, a 21-year-old student with friends who will find themselves illegal smokers soon. “I understand it’s not healthy, but that’s unfair.”

The raised purchase age requirement applies to all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, a maker of which says the change will be hard on the 18–20 set.

“Someone who is 19 years old — do you think that they’re going to just stop without an alternative to them?” asked Kevin Frija, chief executive officer of e-cig company Vapor Corp, which is pushing for its battery-powered butts to be exempt.

Not all aspiring Andy Warhols are against the tobacco ban, though.

“I always regret it,” said 20-year-old Joe Ghaida, gesturing to his lit cigarette. “I think [the ban] might prevent people getting addicted, so I’m kind of for it.”

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
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Reasonable discourse

Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Do you miss liberty yet?

Hey, the conticeptives are free though.

And let's not close the hooka bars, cause that would be raaaaacissst.
Nov. 22, 2013, 7:58 am
George from Sheepshead Bay says:
Don't smoke....problem solved. Smoking has to be the number one stupidest thing you can do to your self.
Nov. 22, 2013, 9:51 am
George from Park Town says:
Stop smoking you idiots. It will kill you, duh. Lame kids.
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:15 am
Lou R. from Freeport says:
"I don't have an attitude without a cigarette"
Nov. 22, 2013, 11:46 am
Barry M from Jordan River says:
"old enough to kill, but not for smokin'"
Nov. 22, 2013, 11:49 am
Check yourself from Clinton Hill says:
Can you not be any more condescending of Pratt students? Cigarettes are a stupid stereotype of any art school, but our campus barely has any more smokers or an air that is "as thick with cigarette smoke" as any other part of NYC. Maybe instead of lumping our student body into one, nicotine-addicted, Andy Warhol-obsessed herd, you'd actually take the time to interview those of us who do not smoke and aren't actually "steamed about smoking snub"
Nov. 22, 2013, 12:22 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Hey, let's go get tattoos the uniform of the non conformist!
Nov. 22, 2013, 1:34 pm
Richard Grayson from Williamsburg says:
Why do so many old miserable people hate the young? That is messed up.
Nov. 22, 2013, 3:48 pm
Bendrix says:
Even the name of the school sounds stuck up. "Pratt."
Nov. 22, 2013, 4:53 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
"Even the name of the school sounds stuck up. "Pratt.""

Not if you're British.
Nov. 22, 2013, 9:06 pm
jay from nyc says:
Andy warhol? I call B.S. on this entire article, no one under 50 gives a toss about Andy Warhol, much less current art students. This is a made up article trying to fit a stereotype to a realty that has not existed for decades. What, did the BP hire Tal to write its articles?
Nov. 23, 2013, 12:15 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I'm sorry. Yes-they did.
Nov. 25, 2013, 1:58 pm

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