Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Will DC join states raising cig-buying age to 21?

A Rasmussen Reports poll has found there is support across the country for raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21.   In short,
California is the latest state to raise its minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21, and Americans are on board. Sixty percent (60%) favor raising the minimum smoking age to 21, a finding that has been trending upward. Just 53% favored it in 2013. Young Californians can still vote and join the military to fight for their country at age 18, but they'll have to wait a little longer if they want to buy cigarettes.

Legislators in the District of Columbia are (somewhat) interested in this issue.   In April 2015, Councilmembers McDuffie, Cheh, Silverman, Orange, Bonds, and Evans introduced B21-0152, "Prohibition Against Selling Tobacco Products to Individuals Under 21 Amendment Act of 2015".   According to LIMS, "As introduced, this bill amends District law to prohibit the sale of cigarettes to those under 21 years of age. Presently, the law prohibits the sale of cigarettes to those under 18 years of age."

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services with comments from the Committee on Finance and Revenue and Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs.   No action has been taken since the legislation was assigned April 14, 2015.

It's not clear when, even if, the health committee will move the legislation this Council Period.

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