State Leg Sends Higher Smoking Age Bill to Gov Brown’s Desk

The governor’s signature would make California just the second state, behind Hawaii, to raise the age required to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. New Jersey legislature voted in favor raising the age as well, but Governor Chris Christie let it die on his desk.

Now, California might follow San Francisco, who just last week voted for the same raising of the age limit.

Advocates for the bill point out that a large portion of smokers take up the habit before 18 anyways, and that some 18-year old high school students enable their younger peers and buy packs for them.

Opponents point to the other liberties and responsibilities that the age 18 currently comes with, whether it be voting or serving in the military.

Another bill would classify e-cigarettes, aka vapes, as tobacco products, meaning they would end up being treated the same.

Counties are also being empowered to levy their own taxes on cigarette products in addition to those already enacted by the state. Counties could levy up to $0.87 per pack.

All this comes as anti-smoking groups are making the rounds with petitions to get a ballot measure ready for November that would raise the cigarette tax another $2 per pack.

More on smoking at 21 can be found here.