Members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland are leading the charge to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state to 21-years-old, with a bill scheduled to be introduced into the Assembly when the 2019 legislative session convenes on Jan. 9.

Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), the bill’s primary sponsor, announced plans to push for the increase over the weekend, with the caucus supporting it as part of its 2019 legislative priorities, the first time the group has done so. A companion bill will be introduced in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County).


This will be the fifth time such legislative has been introduced into the state’s legislator, with last year’s attempt stalling in committee hearings. Both Davis and Kelley are chairs of committees that will likely consider the bill, which should give them a better chance of advancing.

Currently, six states have passed a statewide tobacco purchasing age of 21-years-old: CaliforniaHawaiiMaine, New JerseyOregon and Massachusetts, though that state’s is a progressive increase that will be rolled out over the next two years. Several hundred cities and counties across the country have also passed such legislation, including New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C.

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, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.