California Raises Legal Smoking Age to 21
Last week, California lawmakers voted to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, making California the nation’s most populous state with this restriction.
Governor Jerry Brown still needs to sign off on the legislation that puts California alongside Hawaii in terms of the new legal smoking age. When asked whether Governor Brown would sign off, his spokesman said he does not comment on pending legislation.
The bill comes along with other measures designed to limit tobacco use in California and prevent the health issues that it causes. One of these measures will create smoke-free zones in workplaces and schools to limit the damage caused by second-hand smoke. In the bill, electronic cigarettes, which are not federally regulated, are restricted in the same manner as tobacco.
In the weeks leading up to the vote, many lobbyists argued against the bill, but to no avail. One organization that is happy with the outcome of the vote is the American Cancer Society. This organization dubbed the bill as the most substantial anti-tobacco push in California within the last two decades.
Now, the American Cancer Society and other advocates are focusing on getting a cigarette tax hike added to the 2016 ballot.