New Mexico Senate Unanimously Approves Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase

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A bill seeking to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco in products gained the unanimous approval by the state Senate, passing the chamber by a 38-0 vote on Thursday.

The bill, S.B. 342, now heads to the House of Representatives, where it has been assigned to the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

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The bill is the creation of Sen. Linda Lopez, D-11, and includes two notable exceptions: military members who are at least 18-years-old and can provide valid identification will be able to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes, as will anyone who is at least 18-years-old as of July 1, 2019, which is when the increase would go into effect.

A person under 21 who attempts to purchase tobacco products could be hit with a fine of up to $100 or up to 48 hours of community service, while a retailer who sells to an underage individual could be slapped with a fine of up to $1,000 and charged with a criminal misdemeanor.

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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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