There are five states where a person must be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco products, and as of Wednesday there is another entrant in the race to become the sixth, as five West Virginia senators introduced a bill seeking to join the Tobacco 21 movement.

Senate Bill 13 was introduced on Wednesday by Senators Ron Stollings, D-Boone; Roman Prezioso, D-Marion; Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell; Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier; and Robert Beach, D-Monongalia. It would also apply to electronic cigarettes and nicotine delivery devices, and would make the possession of such products by a person under 21 a crime, with a fine of $50 and eight hours of community service for a first offense. That would go up to $100 and 16 hours of community service for a second offense, while a third violation carries a $200 fine and 24 hours of community service.

Retailers who sell to an underage person would face the same fines that are currently on the books, which start at $50 for a first offense but could reach $5,000 for multiple offenses within a five year period.

It was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary after its first reading, and is then scheduled to go to the Senate Committee on Finance.

Hawaii, California, New JerseyMaine and Oregon have all raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old. Legislation has also been introduced in AlabamaFlorida, and Arizona this year that seeks an increase, while numerous other states have considered increases in recent years without passage.

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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, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.