Last week on Thursday, a lawmaker in California proposed a law which increases the legal age to smoke cigarettes from 18 to 21. He explains that he was inspired from similar initiative by Washington lawyer.
The proposal comes after top health official in California told that e-cigarettes are harmful and their increasing popularity threatens to unravel the hard and long effort to lower tobacco use in the state.
Ed Hernandez of West Covina is the Democratic State Senator who heads the chamber’s health committee. He brought the law with the aim to keep teenagers and kids from starting smoking.
He told that while authorities sit and do nothing about tobacco use, the tobacco companies continue to sell cigarettes to youth. They attract kids and teens with sweet tastes and beautiful packages of tobacco products.
According to Kimberly Amazeen of the American Lung Association in California, annually around 21,300 kids in the state start smoking, then many of those kids become regular smokers and put at risk their health.
Last week Attorney General Bob Ferguson in Washington state came with a proposal to increase legal age to buy and posses tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and also recreational marijuana. The age should be equal to the state’s minimum age for drinking.
In most American states the legal age to smoke cigarettes is 18. In some states this age is 19. A number of cities and counties increased the smoking age to 21. These include New York city and Hawaii County.
Altria Group Inc, the owner of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA, did not provide any comments yet,
A report by California Department of Public Health concluded that e-cigarettes are addictive as they contain nicotine.