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Maine Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto, Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

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On Tuesday, the Maine Legislature voted to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old, making Maine the fourth state in the country to pass such an increase and the second in recent weeks.

The veto was overridden by a 29-5 vote in the Senate and a 90-44 vote in the House.

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The increase will go into effect on July 1, 2018, though individuals who are already at least 18 by the increase date will be allowed to continue to purchase tobacco products thanks to an amendment passed during the legislative process. Retailers who violate the law would face a fine of $300 for the first offense, not less than $600 for the 2nd offense and not less than $1,000 for each offense thereafter.

In the original votes, the House voted 113-34 in favor of L.D. 1170, while the Senate approved the bill 31-4.

Maine joins New Jersey, which passed a similar increase this year, along with Hawaii and California as states who have increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old.

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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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