Tag Archives: 21 And Up

Calif. Legislature Passes Bill to Raise Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

The California Senate voted Thursday to approve a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21.

Having also passed in the California State Assembly a week prior, the bill will now be sent to Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. According to The Daily Californian, Deborah Hoffman, a spokesman for Gov. Brown, declined to comment on whether he intends to sign the bill and thus enact it into law.

The bill contains an exemption for active-duty military members, but bill opponent Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) claims that the exemption includes a loophole wherein some veterans under age 21 could lose their right to purchase tobacco products upon returning home from war.

[RELATED: Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Banning Adults Under 21 from Using, Buying Tobacco Products]

Bill sponsor Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) claimed that the fact that the tobacco industry lobbied against the bill to block 18, 19, and 20 year-old Californians from smoking shows that it intends “to market and sell this poison to our kids.

A majority of Republicans opposed the bill, citing freedom of choice.

I don’t smoke. I don’t encourage my children to,” Assemblyman Donald Wagner (R-Irvine) told KQED-TV. “But they’re adults, and it’s our job to treat our citizens as adults, not to nanny them.

This will save the medical system in the outgoing years millions of dollars. It will save thousands of lives,” said Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).

CNN is reporting that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted on March 1 to raise the California city’s smoking age to 21.

[RELATED: Scientist Exposes ‘Sham’ Methodology Linking E-Cigarettes To Smoking]

The bill passed alongside a package of anti-tobacco proposals, including one bill which would regulate electronic cigarettes in a manner similar to traditional tobacco products, complete with bans on their use in certain public places. The Los Angeles Times notes that Senate leader Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) characterized the package of anti-tobacco bills as “the most expansive tobacco control legislative package in over a decade.

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California State Senate Approves Ban on Tobacco Products for Adults Under 21

On Tuesday, the California Senate voted 26-8 to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 21. The bill, SB 151, amends the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act such that it applies to adults under the newly-proposed minimum age. According to The Los Angeles Times, the proposal will now proceed to the California State Assembly for consideration.

A similar measure cleared the Hawaii State Legislature earlier this year, but, as Fox News notes, the bill currently sits unsigned on Hawaii Democratic Governor David Ige’s desk. He has not yet signaled whether he will sign or veto the bill and has until June 29 to decide.

Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), the sponsor of the California bill, cited a study claiming that 90% of those who use tobacco start before age 21 as his rationale behind the ban. He also pointed to another study, produced by the Institute of Medicine and funded by the Food and Drug Administration, that claimed that such a ban would reduce cigarette smoking by 12%.

We will not sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them. That is why I believe we need legislation like SB 151,” read a statement by Senator Ed Hernandez. However, the sale of tobacco products to children is already illegal in California, and SB 151 would only apply to adults age 18, 19, and 20.

The Cigar Association of America said, according to Breitbart, “An individual can be eligible to vote, serve in the military, and enter into contracts at the age of 18 and therefore should be able to make decisions about purchasing tobacco products.

Meanwhile, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that youth cigarette smoking has dropped to historic lows, though e-cigarette use is on the rise. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew Myers said of the CDC study data in comments to USA Today, “It represents a historic drop in cigarette use — the first time in history that we’ve seen cigarette use in high school youth below 10%. At the same time, the explosive rise in e-cigarette use is a wake-up call.” According to a 2013 CDC study cited by LiveScience, cigarette smoking among adults has recently plunged to all-time lows as well.

New York City banned the sale of tobacco products to individuals under 21 back in 2013. No US state has yet raised its smoking age to 21, but in Alaska, Utah, Alabama, and New Jersey, the minimum age is currently 19.