South Carolina has joined the growing group of states that will be considering passing an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old this legislative session.
In the Palmetto State, H.B. 3451 was introduced by Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, and seeks to make 21 the minimum age for both the purchase and possession of tobacco products and tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it is awaiting further action.
Also up for debate this session is H.B. 3274, which seeks to make tobacco laws a statewide matter and prohibit any other municipality in the state from passing its own laws. Rutherford is a co-sponsor of that bill as well.
Six states have already made 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts. Nearly a dozen other states currently have similar legislation being debated this session.