Indiana Governor Makes Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase Part of 2020 Agenda

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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb released his 2020 Next Level Agenda today, and included on the list of to-dos is getting the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes raised to 21-years-old.

Holcomb didn’t comment specifically in the press release announcing the agenda, which includes changes he wants to see in the economy, infrastructure, workforce & education, healthcare and good government. Along with raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco, which falls under the healthcare category, the governor is calling for healthcare price transparency for consumers via an all-payer claims database, protecting consumers from surprise medical bills, improving mental health services at schools and hospitals, and incentivizing more community paramedicine programs. He is also calling for specific measures to fight against the state’s drug epidemic, calling for more recovery housing for residents coping with substance use disorder, seeking protection and workplace accommodations for pregnant workers as part of a goal of becoming the best state in the Midwest for infant mortality by 2024.

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While the governor can call for an increase, it will be a change that will need to be made through the state’s General Assembly, where previous bills have failed to gain traction. The most recent bill, S.B. 425, cleared the Senate’s Health and Provider Services but stalled in the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy.

A bill for the 2020 legislative session has not yet been introduced, with a deadline of Jan. 9 looming to get a bill on the agenda.

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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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