A bill introduced in the California State Senate on Thursday is proposing to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

Senate Bill 151 was introduced by state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-22, and if passed would make California the first state in the nation to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. A similar bill was introduced in Washington state earlier this month, and there is active legislation in the New Jersey Assembly that has already been approved by the state senate.

Several other states have tried and failed to increase the minimum tobacco age in recent years, including Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maryland.

California is the most populous state in the country, with a 2014 estimated population of 38.8 million people.

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.