Senate bill proposes raising legal smoking age in California

The dangers associated with smoking are well documented and in California lawmakers would like to limit the access of tobacco products to teenagers by raising the legal smoking age to 21.

News 10 in Sacramento reported that Senate Bill 151, which would increase the age of purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, was introduced by Sen. Ed Hernandez on Thursday.

"Tobacco companies know that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age," Hernandez said in a statement. "We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them. That is why I believe we need legislation like SB 151."

While Hernandez has the support of several health groups including the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association, KABC noted that the bill will surely face opposition from big tobacco companies.

Smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and around 21,300 California kids start smoking every year.

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Michelle Kapusta

At Large Senior Editor, Temple University graduate, Philadelphia resident and avid sports fan.

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