A pair of Rhode Island state legislators have introduced proposals that would increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco and other nicotine delivery devices from 18 to 21, which if approved would make them the second state in the nation to do so.

State Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-34) and State Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-32) introduced H7737 and S2410, respectively, calling the increase a step towards improving the health of Rhode Island residents while also helping to reduce both public and private health care costs.

If approved, the age increase would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Only Hawaii has been able to pass an age increase on a statewide level, while several other states currently have legislation in their legislatures. The New Jersey legislature passed an increase last year, only to have it pocket vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year.

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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 Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.