A pair of Arizona state legislators have introduced a bill that seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and nicotine delivery products from 18 to 21-years-old.
Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, and Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, have introduced SB 1010, which seeks to make Arizona one of the first states to pass a statewide increase to the tobacco purchasing age. Currently, only Hawaii, California, New Jersey, and Maine have increased the tobacco purchasing age to 21, while Oregon’s increase will go into effect on Jan. 1.
It will be the second consecutive year that legislators will consider an increase, with the previous version brought to an abrupt halt by Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler. In February, he ended the bill’s chances when he refused to allow a hearing on the bill in the House Commerce Committee, of which he was the chairman. At the time, he said that thought adults, individuals who are 18 or older, should have the right to make adult decisions, and as such the bill wouldn’t proceed.
As the Arizona Legislature is not currently in session, the bill has yet to be read in the Senate or assigned to a committee. It is expected to be taken up shortly after the session begins on Jan. 8.
Two cities in Arizona have already passed their own increases; Cottonwood passed an increase in May 2016, while Douglas passed one in July 2017. The city of Clarkdale rejected an increase at the end of 2016.