A number of state legislatures will be debating the idea of making the minimum age to purchase—and possibly possess—tobacco and tobacco alternatives to 21-years-old in their upcoming sessions, including legislators in the state of Michigan.

H.B. 4039 has been introduced into the Michigan House of Representatives, with the bill sponsored by a bipartisan group of seven legislators, including Reps. Tommy Brann, R-77; Kristy Pagan, D-21; Robert Wittenberg, D-27; Julie Calley, R-87; Terry J. Sabo, D-92; Hank Vaupel, R-47; and Jon Hoadley, D-60.

The bill seeks to make the new age to purchase tobacco products, paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes and similar devices 21-years-old on a statewide basis, while also repealing existing language regarding the possession of tobacco products by minors. A person who sells or otherwise provides tobacco to a person under 21-years-of-age would face a first time fine of no less than $1,000, which escalates to a maximum of $5,000 for a second violation within two years.

It also provides a provision that local municipalities may enact their own rules regarding tobacco sales that are stricter than those set at the state level.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform, where it is awaiting further action. Should it make it through the legislative process, the increase would go into effect 180 days after final passage.

Six states have already made 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts.

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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 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.