UPDATE: W.Va. Senate OKs bill to raise minimum tobacco use age to 21

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - UPDATE 2/27/19
The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would raise the state’s minimum legal age for using tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The Senate passed the bill on a 20-14 vote Wednesday. The bill covers all tobacco and vaping products. A similar bill is pending in a House committee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has among the highest youth smoking rates in the nation.

A similar bill died last year in a Senate committee.

Virginia last week became the seventh state to raise the smoking age to 21. Similar bills are pending before lawmakers in several states.

ORIGINAL STORY 2/13/19
A bill moving through the West Virginia Legislature would raise the state's minimum legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The Senate health and human resources committee on Tuesday sent the bill to the Senate judiciary committee. The bill covers all tobacco and vaping products. A similar bill is pending in the House health and human resources committee.

A similar bill died last year in a Senate committee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has among the highest youth smoking rates in the nation.

The nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says six states and at least 430 localities have raised the tobacco purchase age limit to 21. Similar bills are pending before lawmakers in several states, including Indiana, Illinois and Virginia.

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2/13/2019 5:19:06 AM (GMT -5:00)