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PROPOSED BILL WOULD LIMIT TOBACCO, VAPE SALES TO THOSE AGE 21 AND UP

Several lawmakers in the state are pushing to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco or vaping products to 21 from 18.

This week, Republican State Sen. Shane Reeves and House Rep. Bob Ramsey said the bill would help address Tennessee’s poor health rankings.

Among proponents of the bill are a dozen or more health-related groups, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and vape company JUUL.

The proposed bill would cost the state $7 million and local governments $1 million annually in unrealized sales-tax revenues. Reeves said the bill would, however, save the state on tobacco users’ healthcare costs.

As of early January, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said six states had a tobacco age of 21. As of last week, Virginia became number seven.


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