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.