Arizona Legislators Introduce Tobacco Purchase Age Increase Bill

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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