While not dead, the attempt to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 in the state of Maryland has hit a major roadblock.

Last Thursday, the Maryland Senate Finance Committee reported unfavorably on S.B. 669, which would have increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco. This means the Committee is not recommending the bill for any additional votes and likely means the bill will see no further action.

It’s not the same as voting against a bill, so the bill is legally still alive. However, given the unfavorable report and the previous failures of similar legislation in Maryland, the bill is effectively dead.

“This makes the chances of any age 21 bill passing in Maryland unlikely this year,” said the Cigar Association of America in a weekly meeting.

The bill would have kept fines the same for those caught selling tobacco to those under the legal requirement: $300 for a first violation and then rising to $1,000 for a second violation and $3,000 for a third within two years.

California and Hawaii are the only two states where you must be 21 to purchase tobacco, though a variety of states have active bills that seek to change their respective laws.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.