A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old in South Dakota has taken a step forward, as H.B. 1250 was approved 8-4 by the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

The bill, H.B. 1250 was introduced on Jan. 31  by Rep. Leslie J. Heinemann, R-8, and Sen. Alan Solano, R-32, and will now head to the House floor for further discussion and voting.

South Dakota is one of several states seeking to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco, a movement known as Tobacco 21 that has become a hot topic both at the state and local level in recent years as anti-tobacco advocates seek to limit access to tobacco products and alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. A bill in the Illinois House of Representatives cleared its first committee hearing this week, while legislation remains active in Washington, Florida, Arizona, New Hampshire, Idaho, Utah and West Virginia.

A bill in Mississippi recently ran into a split committee vote that has ended its progress, while a bill in Indiana cleared its first committee hearing only to die via a political maneuver that ensured it would not get a vote.

Currently there are five states that have passed increases to the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21-years-old: Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon.

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.