Home News California raises the smoking age to 21, provides one exemption

California raises the smoking age to 21, provides one exemption

Now you can quit smoking DoD Hawaii state law Marine Corps base
Photo by Pfc. Samuel Ellis

A new that takes another bold step to limit smoking goes into effect Thursday, raising the age limit to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Another new bans e- from public places such as schools, restaurants and hospitals.

will be the second state in the nation after Hawaii to have an age requirement of 21 to purchase tobacco — a feat which state Sen. Ed Hernandez, author of the bill, says he is excited about. He predicts a “significant drop” in tobacco use.

There’s one loophole that California gave, which Hawaii did not. Active duty personnel are exempt from this law, though it doesn’t say that their dependents are. The one caveat to this law, is that base commanders may enact an order to follow California law, according to Military.com

“I think is taking a leadership role in curbing tobacco use and tobacco products,” Hernandez, a Democrat, said in an interview. “Hopefully, all states in the United States will eventually move to 21 and reduce smoking even more.”

Hernandez said there could be some backlash or slightly more illegal underage tobacco use, though he thinks it will deter far more potential users. The Institute of Medicine found that if all states required a minimum age to purchase tobacco 21, it would lead to a 12% drop in smokers.

The bills were backed by an advocacy group, the Save Lives coalition, made up of doctors and healthcare workers from the American Lung Association, the Medical Association, the American Cancer Society and other organizations.

“I think tomorrow is a proud example of taking the lead to protect our kids and stand up to big tobacco,” said Mike Roth, spokesperson for Save Lives .

e- smokers will also see restrictions after Thursday. All e- and vapor products will be reclassified as traditional tobacco products in the . This is opposed by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association – a lobbying group for vapor products—which calls the provision a “step backwards.”

“Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco and treating them the same as combustible opens the door to excessive taxation that will economically penalize smokers looking to make the switch to vaping.,” said Josh Krane, president of the chapters of the SFATA.

USMC Life contributed to this article.
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