California lawmakers have recently voted to raise the legal age for tobacco and e-cigs use. They want e-cigarettes to be legally used and purchased at 21. The legislation has already passed the state Assembly. It would come into effect 90 days after Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signs it.
Raising Vaping Age to 21
In Hawaii, they have a higher age limit throughout the state. New York, San Francisco and other cities have similar laws governing the mentioned field.
According to Democratic Senator Ed Hernandez, author of the bill, this way they could help a huge number of young people in California. He believes the bill would save the lives of those who are addicted.
Many Republicans were strongly against the limit. Intense anti-limit lobbying took place. However, the bill was approved.
The higher age limit is part of a package concerning anti-tobacco bills. 6 bills passed both houses. According to the American Cancer Society, this was California’s most significant anti-tobacco effort in almost 2 decades.
Associate director of state and local campaigns for the society, Cathy Callaway, noted California has a huge population. So the bill would have an immense impact on the nation.
As the US surgeon general stated, the vast majority of smokers started before 18. According to advocates, if those who are 18 won’t be allowed to buy tobacco for their younger friends, teenagers will find it more challenging to obtain the product.
Those who were opposed stated American law and custom allow people make adult decisions. 18-year-olds can do almost any legal activity.
Democrats made some changes to the bill. They think 18 militaries should continue buying cigarettes.
The Vaping Industry and E-cigarette Shops
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The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association is a vaping industry group. It urged Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bill. The reason is that the bill could create problems for vape shops.
The bills would affect smoke-free areas in workplaces, hotels, etc. More schools, including charter schools, would also be impacted. Cigarette taxes in counties would be raised beyond the state’s levy of $0.87 per pack.
A ballot initiative will be organized in November. Anti-smoking groups have started collecting signatures for it. The cigarette tax is expected to reach $2 per pack.
Voters for the bill believe billions of dollars would be saved to be directed to healthcare, anti-tobacco efforts, law enforcement, and research.