California state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina is sponsoring a new bill that will raise the legal minimum age for smoking from age 18 to 21.
The senator defends the bill claiming that “Tobacco companies know that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age.” Hernandez argues that, it would not be right for lawmakers to “sit on the sidelines” and exploit young Americans.
The big government advocate fears that “another generation of young people” could get “hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them.” That is why he believes, California needs SB 151.
An American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, representative explained that the raising “will help get tobacco out of the hands of teenagers when they are young and most vulnerable to the tobacco industry’s predatory model of recruiting lifetime addicts.”
Ibabuzz.com reported that if the bill succeeds, California will become the first state in the nation to raise the age limit to 21.
However, some cities and counties have already raised the age to 21, including: New York City; New York’s Suffolk County; Evanston, Ill.; Columbia, Mo.; Englewood, N.J., Hawaii County, Hawaii; and several Massachusetts towns.
Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have increased the minimum age to 19. New York’s Onondaga and Nassau counties and some Massachusetts towns have also raised the age to 19.