Arizona Bill Raising Smoking-Vaping Age To 21 Back For Debate

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 9:11am
Updated: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 2:52pm

Arizona lawmakers will decide, once again, whether to raise the minimum age for smoking from 18 to 21.

Last year, a similar House bill made it through the Health Committee, but was snuffed out by the Commerce Committee chair a week later.

This week, Adrienne Lynch with the Cancer Action Network, along with several other experts, were at the state Capitol trying to educate members on the impact raising the smoking and vaping age will have on Arizona residents.

Citing research from the American Cancer Society, she said typically, "People who use tobacco started before the age of 21. So, if we can get that age of sale up there, we can really prevent a lot of people from ever starting such a deadly habit."

A 2015 report by the Arizona Department of Health Services shows the state takes a $5 billion hit in health care costs and job productivity losses related to tobacco use each year.

That sum is five times higher than the amount Arizona businesses make selling tobacco.

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