Bill would raise U.S. legal age to buy tobacco to 21

(HealthDay)—A bill to raise the minimum age for buying any type of tobacco product, including electronic cigarettes, from 18 to 21 years was introduced Monday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The proposed bipartisan legislation comes at a time when soaring underage use of e-cigarettes has health experts alarmed, the Associated Press reported. The bill was cosponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. Fourteen states have enacted laws raising the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 years, according to the antismoking Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Similar action has been taken by 470 municipalities.

A recent federal government survey found that one in five U.S. high school students reported using e-cigarettes the previous month. Most e-cigarettes contain highly addictive nicotine, which can harm young people’s brain development and may increase their risk for smoking cigarettes later in life, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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