Today, October 1, Connecticut became the 14th state to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. On Tuesday, Businesses can no longer be able to sell cigarettes, cigars, chewing and pipe tobacco and vaping products to individuals under the age of 21.
Lamont remarked, "When our laws surrounding tobacco products were written several decades ago, the medical evidence about the impact of the substance did not exist. With the rising use of e-cigarettes and vaping products among young people, we are seeing a growing public health crisis. Some have pointed out that raising the age to 21 will result in a net revenue loss to the state, but when it comes to the health of our young people we need to do what is right. I applaud the bipartisan members from each chamber of our state legislature for voting to raise the age."
According to the American Lung Association, every day, close to 2,500 youth under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 400 kids become regular daily smokers. Two-thirds of 10th-grade students and nearly half of 8th-grade students say it is easy to get cigarettes. "Because students typically do not reach 21 years old while still in high school, Connecticut’s new law is expected to greatly reduce the number of high school students who have easy access to tobacco products," American Lung Association says.
The legislation is House Bill 7200, Public Act No. 19-13, An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Cigarettes, Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products to Persons Under the Age of Twenty-One.
Read the full text here.