Vt. Close to Raising Smoking Age to 21

Vermont is close to joining a dozen states that have raised the smoking age to 21.

The Legislature has passed the bill and the governor expects to sign it pending a review.

The bill also increases the legal age to 21 for buying and using electronic cigarettes, which have surged in popularity among high school and middle school students.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 states have raised the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products to 21. It says the change is in effect in seven states so far.

Vermont's measure would go into effect on Sept. 1.

State Sen. Ginny Lyons, a sponsor of the legislation, said Wednesday that it will prevent addiction going forward and "a whole generation can be protected."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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