Connecticut House of Representatives Passes Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase

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On Thursday, the Connecticut House of Representatives gave its nearly overwhelming support to a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21-years-old.

The bill, HB 7200, passed by a 124-22 vote and will now head to the Senate for that chamber’s consideration. It is one of several similar bills to have been introduced this session all seeking to raise the minimum purchasing age.

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Also included in the bill is an increase for a tobacco dealer’s license, raising the annual amount from $50 to $200, while making modifications to the ways retailers would be punished for selling to an under age person. Fines for selling or giving tobacco products  to a person under 21 would go up as well; the maximum for a first offense would go up from $200 to $300, while a second offense would jump from $300 to $750. A third violation would double from $500 to $1,000.

Anyone under age attempting to purchase tobacco or e-cigarettes would still face a maximum fine of $50.

If passed, the increase would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2019.

More than a dozen states have passed increases to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, and several more are getting close. New York’s bill is awaiting a signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while in Texas both chambers have passed legislation but need to resolve amendments before it can be sent to the governor. Minnesota is also facing pressure to pass an increase before its legislative session concludes in a few days.

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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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