California One Step Closer to 21 Minimum Age

imagesCalifornia lawmakers have voted to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21, The Herald reports. The last step to becoming a law is for Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to sign. The bill already passed the state Assembly.

Reasons cited for wanting the laws (both SB5 and SB7) to change included trying to stop youths from getting addicted to tobacco, even though e-cigarettes are not tobacco products. The Smoke-Free Trade Association said that if the law passes with e-cigarettes included, this will again perpetuate the “stigma of being equated” with tobacco products.

Opponents argue that 18-year-olds can register to vote, join the military, sign legally binding contracts, consent to sex and do just about any legal activity besides buying alcohol, according to The Herald. Members of the military will be exempt from the law.

“The bills would also expand smoke-free areas to include bars, workplace break rooms, small businesses, warehouses and hotel lobbies and meeting rooms. Smoking bans would apply at more schools, including charter schools, and counties would be able to raise their own cigarette taxes beyond the state’s levy of $0.87 per pack,” according to The Herald.

If Brown signs, the law would be in effect in 90 days.

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