Sacramento, CA — Some Democratic California lawmakers are introducing legislation that would increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products, and raise the tax.
One of the lawmakers, Senator Ed Hernandez claims, “This unprecedented assault on tobacco is long overdue.”
Hernandez is proposing to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21. He says by prohibiting that age group from legally purchasing tobacco, it would result in fewer smokers. He cites that 90% of current smokers started in their teens.
Senator Richard Pan is proposing to increase the tobacco tax by $2 per pack. Some of the proceeds would go into a research fund to fight smoking related diseases.
Senator Mark Leno has authored a bill calling for the regulation of electronic cigarettes to the similar standards of tobacco products.
Senator Tony Thurmond is calling for a ban on chewing tobacco at California ballparks.
The group “Save Lives California” has been advocating for the series of legislation. The group is a coalition comprising the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and others.