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Maine’s Tobacco Purchase Age Now 21

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The minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state of Maine is now 21-years-old, as legislation passed earlier this year has gone into effect. It makes Maine the fifth state in the country where an individual must be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco, joining Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Oregon.

The bill does include a provision that will allow individuals who had already turned 18-years-old by the increase date to continue to purchase tobacco products, subject to any local laws. 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.

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After being passed by the legislature in July 2017, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, who returned it saying “I’m tired of living in a society where we social engineer our lives,” adding that he believes than an 18-year-old is capable of making the decision about whether or not to use tobacco. The legislature than overrode his veto, with a 29-5 vote in the Senate and a 90-44 vote in the House.

Illinois could be the next state to join the Tobacco 21 movement as the legislature has passed an increase, which is now awaiting the governor’s signature. Massachusetts is also expected to join the group, as more than 170 municipalities have passed their own increase, with the legislature currently considering a statewide increase.

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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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