A trio of state senators in West Virginia have entered their state into the race to see which will be the third to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old.

S.B. 37 is sponsored by Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Madison and co-sponsored by Sens. Glenn Jeffries, D-Red House, and Robert Beach, D-Morgantown.

The bill would apply to tobacco products as well as alternative nicotine delivery devices, and would keep the existing fine structure in place for retailers or others who violate the law. It also provides a clause that lets an employer automatically fire an employee that provided tobacco to an underage person.

Usage and possession of tobacco or nicotine delivery devices by persons under 21 would also become illegal, unless they are participating in a retail compliance check. The existing fines of $50 to $200 would remain in place as well.

The bill has been referred to a pair of committees, first the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, then to the Senate Finance Committee. It is currently awaiting further action to be scheduled in the former.

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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.