California Could Be Second State To Raise Minimum Smoking Age To 21

Image courtesy of Ryan Glenn

Just days after the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, the state’s Assembly passed a package of tobacco bills, including a measure that would raise the state smoking age to 21 and ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional smoking is prohibited. 

The Los Angeles Times reports that the six bills will now go to the state Senate for consideration. The Senate previously approved the measures, but must now vote on amendments made by the Assembly.

The bill package, which were supposed to be voted on last year, passed with a 42-26 vote Thursday following several action by lawmakers to block the hearing.

While the Los Angeles age limit increase covered all consumers, the state measure provides an exemption for those under 21 who are in active military service.

That amendment came about after criticism from veteran groups and some lawmakers who argued that 18-year-olds who are able to marry, vote, and join the military, should be able to make their own decision on whether or not to smoke.

Under the e-cigarette measure, smoking of the devices will be limited in public places and prohibits the marketing or sale to minors.

The L.A. Times reports that the bills were championed by the coalition called Save Live California, consisting of American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association. The groups contended that 95% of adult smokers start before the age of 21.

21 to smoke? California Assembly approves raising smoking age [The Los Angeles Times]

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