Add New Mexico to the list of state legislatures that will consider an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, as a bill has been introduced in the state senate that seeks to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21-years-old.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, is hoping to limit access to tobacco products and other nicotine delivery devices until young people’s brains are more fully developed and therefore capable of making better decisions, he told KRQE-TV.

S.B. 319 would amend the state’s current laws to make 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes, though it would exempt active members of the military from the increase and allow them to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes if they are at least 18-years-old by July 1, 2017, when the increase is scheduled to go into effect.

Should the bill pass, retailers would face a fine of up to $1,000 for selling to a person under 21 and would be guilty of a criminal misdemeanor. McSorely’s bill also calls for punishments for a person under age who attempts to purchase tobacco, fining them up to $100 or up to 48 hours of community service.

The bill has been sent to the Senate Public Affairs Committee.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.