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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

California raises legal age to purchase tobacco

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a series of bills which will raise the smoking age in

Dragon Smoke
The passing of bills to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 will also include vaping products. Photo credit: Christian Fletcher

California from 18 to 21.

The bill will take affect on June 9, raising the smoking age to 21.

This makes California the second state to pass a bill raising the legal smoking age – the other being Hawaii.

Under other legislation signed by the governor, electronic cigarettes are considered to be tobacco products and cannot be used in restaurants, theaters, bars and other places where smoking has long been banned. They also cannot be marketed to minors.

Health advocates praised the recent signing.

“By increasing the tobacco age to 21, the nation’s largest state provides incredible momentum to similar efforts nationwide,” Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.

However, The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, which represents makers of electronic cigarettes, criticized Brown’s action Wednesday.

“Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco, and treating them the same as combustible tobacco while actively seeking to economically penalize smokers attempting to switch is counterproductive to public health,” the group said in a statement.

A Fullerton College student takes a cigarette break. Photo credit: Helena Kim

Although the legal smoking age will be raised next month, other laws won’t take affect until Jan. 2017.

Other measures signed by the governor include expanding the tobacco-free campus law to include more areas of charter schools and public school facilities and offices, closing loopholes in the ban on smoking in workplaces to include warehouses, gambling clubs, motel lobbies, covered parking lots and other public areas left out of the existing law, and raising the licensing fee for tobacco retailers


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