Sacramento, CA — A bill that would raise California’s smoking age to 21 was one of six anti-tobacco bills that were approved in the Senate yesterday.
Proponents argued that federal studies show that the number of teens smoking cigarettes has been on the increase over the past several years. Opponents, meanwhile, cited that if an 18-year-old can fight in the military, he or she should be able to smoke. Other bills approved in the Senate are in relation to allowing counties to impose local tobacco taxes, increasing the licensing fees for tobacco retailers and placing new restrictions on e-cigarettes.
The anti-tobacco measures now move onto the Assembly for consideration. The legislature is discussing the bills during a special session on healthcare.
An additional bill which has been introduced, but not yet gone up for vote, calls for California to increase its cigarette tax by $2.