House Passes Bill to Raise Age to Buy Tobacco

The state House of Representatives has passed legislation to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic delivery systems and vapor products to anyone under the age of 21.  

A news release from the governor’s office says the House voted 124-22 and the bill needs approval from the Senate before getting to the governor’s desk. 

States like Massachusetts and New Jersey have already upped the age to 21. In Connecticut, Hartford and Bridgeport have already increased the age. Other towns like Milford and South Windsor have considered it.

In April, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association lobbied to keep pressure up on lawmakers to raise the age.

Several groups went to the State Capitol on Wednesday to promote a proposal to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.

The bill would also prohibit the sale of flavored products, which . are often viewed as enticing to young teens.

The vaping industry said that will harm people trying to quit smoking cigarettes.

Governor Ned Lamont issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, saying, “(W)ith the rising use of e-cigarettes and vaping products among young people, we are seeing a growing public health crisis. Some have pointed out that raising the age to 21 will result in a net revenue loss to the state, but when it comes to the health of our young people we need to do what is right,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement. “I commend the legislators today who had the courage to vote for this bill, and particularly express my gratitude for the leadership of Representative Jonathan Steinberg and Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey. Let’s get this bill through the Senate so I can sign it into law.” 

Read the bill here. 

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