A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products is advancing through the West Virginia legislature, as today S.B. 348 advanced out of the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee and onto the Judiciary Committee.

The bill seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old, though it would not change the age to possess or use tobacco products, leaving that at 18-years-old. It has already gained bi-partisan support by way of eight co-sponsors.

A pair of similar bills failed to advance out of committee last year.

West Virginia is one of roughly 20 states considering similar legislation to make 21-years-old the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. Currently, six states have already enacted such a law: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts.

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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 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.