Bill Would Raise Tobacco Age From 18 To 21

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 23:06:37-05

A bill filed in legislation would raise the age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.

Senator Jim Tracy introduced the bill, which included vapor products.

He argued raising the age will make it more difficult for 16 and 17 year olds to start smoking.

Senator Tracy said several doctors came to him and convinced him to file the legislation. They talked about the dangers of smoking, and how teenagers were more susceptible to addiction.

Anyone under the age of 21 would no longer be able to purchase tobacco and vapor products that include nicotine.

“Many of our 16 and 17 year olds have 18 year old friends, so the 18 year old friends can purchase those tobacco products.  Not many 16 and 17 year olds have 21 year old friends, so I think it will make it more difficult on them to get those tobacco products,” said Tracy.

As expected the American Cancer Society supported the plan. Last summer, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to raise the age to 21.

According to the governor's office 86% of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 21.