State legislator introduces bill to raise legal smoking age

FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 file photo shows an ashtray with cigarette butts outside the Oklahoma County Courthouse in Oklahoma City. Researchers found that smokers who switched to special low-nicotine ones wound up smoking less and were more likely to try to quit, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown (D) – Philadelphia, says her proposal would raise the legal age from 18 to 21.

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

In January, Hawaii became the first state to boost the legal smoking age to 21.

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