Health + Safety
California Raises Smoking Age to 21
California is doing all it can to end the hold that tobacco has on its young people, officially raising the smoking age from 18 to 21.
On Wednesday (May04), Governor Jerry Brown signed the new law into effect, which restricts young people under the age of 21 from buying any tobacco products that could be used for smoking, dipping, chewing or vaping. The law also extends to electronic cigarettes.
“By increasing the tobacco age to 21, the nation’s largest state provides incredible momentum to similar efforts nationwide,” Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.
The new law doesn’t take effect until June 9th, but already critics, namely the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, who says that reclassifying vapor products as tobacco is “a step backwards” because their industry “was built by former smokers that morphed into small- and mid-sized businesses.”
“[These laws] will save countless lives, reduce astronomical costs to the health care system, and cost very little because it uses existing enforcement mechanisms,” Senator Ed Hernandez told CNN. “Today was an enormous victory for not only this generation, but also for many generations to come who will not suffer the deadly impacts of tobacco.”