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Indiana Senator supports raising minimum smoking age to 21

WASHINGTON (WPTA21) — An Indiana Republican Senator is backing a move to work on a national proposal to raise the legal tobacco age to 21.

Senator Todd Young joined majority leader Mitch McConnell to help with that legislation.

McConnell announced on Thursday that he wants to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco nationwide to 21-years old.

He says by raising the age, middle school and high school students will have less access to tobacco products.

Senator Young announced his support for the idea on Thursday in a joint statement with Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

In the letter, Young cites national data showing 90 percent of adult smokers began smoking before age 21. He also pointed out CDC estimates that approximately 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of some type of tobacco product in 2018.

“This is quickly becoming a national epidemic, and we have an obligation to act,” The letter stated. “We look forward to working with majority leader McConnell and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the health and safety of our children.”

McConnell says he will introduce the bill in May and that it will include e-cigarettes.

Jacob Burbrink

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