Pa. bill would raise tobacco age

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania legislator has introduced a bill that would raise the legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia) says her proposal, House Bill 1628, would boost the legal age from 18 to 21.

Brown says studies show that most people begin smoking before the age of 19. She says restricting access to tobacco products until age 21 should lower the smoking rate in Pennsylvania.

“Reducing the number of smokers would provide many health benefits, such as reduced exposure to second-hand smoke for everyone; better fetal and neonatal health for our smallest people, and lower rates of diseases known to be related to smoking, such as heart disease, emphysema and cancer,” Brown said in a statement.

Hawaii recently became the first state to raise its legal smoking age to 21, beginning January 1.

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