While it remains to see which state–if any–will become the third in the country to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21, a Florida senator is hoping it will be the Sunshine State.

Earlier this week, Sen. Darryl Ervin Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, introduced S.B. 1138, a bill that would raise the minimum tobacco purchasing age to 21 as of July 1, should it indeed pass. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.

The bill does include an exemption for members of the military, which is part of the state’s current law. No other changes are being proposed in regards to fines for selling to a person under 21.

Florida joins several other states where age increases have been proposed this legislative session, including Idaho, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico, Indiana, Oregon, New York, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, Washington, Iowa and Nebraska.

Arizona had been considering an increase, though the bill’s path has effectively been halted, while a similar bill in North Dakota was defeated earlier this month.

Hawaii and California are the only two states where the minimum age to purchase tobacco products is 21.

Avatar photo

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.