A bill seeking to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old in Connecticut has passed its first committee hearing and will soon head to the Senate floor for a full vote.

On Monday, the liegislature’s Public Health Committee reported favorably on S.B. 164, with the bill tallying a 22-4 vote and garnering support from both sides of the political aisle.

The bill would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine delivery products to 21-years-old as of Oct. 1, 2018, though anyone who turns 18 before that date would be grandfathered in and allowed to purchase tobacco. It would leave in place the existing penalties for selling tobacco to an underage person, which starts at a fine up to $200 for the first offense, $350 for a second offense within a twenty-four-month period and up to $500 for each subsequent offense within a twenty-four-month period.

Additionally, a person under 21 who purchases or misrepresents their age to purchase tobacco would be fined up to $50 for the first offense and between $50 and $100 for each subsequent offense.

The bill has not yet been scheduled for further action.

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Patrick Lagreid

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.