Delaware Legislator Introduces Bill to Make Tobacco Purchasing Age 21

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A little over a month since Delaware Gov. John Carney expressed his support of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternatives to 21-years-old, a bill has been introduced into the state’s Legislature seeking to do just that.

As had been expected, Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-11, who is also the Senate Majority Whip, introduced S.B. 25 on Wednesday, a bill that would also eliminate an existing part of the law that allows parents to buy tobacco products for their children. It also eliminates penalties for persons under the legal buying age attempting to buy tobacco products, shifting the responsibility solely onto the retailers.

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Stores who are caught selling tobacco to a person under 18-years-old would face criminal fines starting at $250 and escalating to $1,000 for multiple offenses, while stores selling to a person between 18 and 21 would face civil fines in the same range.

The bill has already gained five co-sponsors in the Senate and 14 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

If passed, the bill would go into effect immediately. It has been assigned to the Senate Health & Social Services Committee where it is awaiting a hearing.

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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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