Sacramento, CA — The California Senate has passed a bill that would increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The legislation was authored by Democratic Senator Ed Hernandez. He argues that the change would reduce the number of teenagers smoking. The bill passed 26-8 in the Senate and now moves to the Assembly. It is opposed by groups like the California Retailers Association and the Cigar Association of America. The latter group argues that if 18-year-olds can fight in a war they should be allowed to buy tobacco. The proposal does, however, have the support of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the California Medical Association.
The Senate also passed a separate piece of legislation yesterday that would prohibit smoking at workplaces, day cares, restaurants, bars and on public transit.