Proposed bill would raise tobacco purchase age to 21

A new bill passed through a committee in the Indiana senate that would raise the legal age of purchasing tobacco to 21. The only exception is if you're active military.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 7:01 PM
Updated: Feb 9, 2019 12:03 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A new bill passed through a committee in the Indiana senate that would raise the legal age of purchasing tobacco to 21. 

"It's a bill that was introduced into the senate to raise the legal age of purchase for tobacco from 18 to 21 and they've made an exception just for people enlisted in the military," said Nancy Cripe with Tobacco Free Allen County. 

Cripe said what she's really pushing for is raising cigarette taxes. 

"That's what we're really pushing for because that will also discourage youth access, and it will have a big impact on adult smoking rate because it really pushes people to quit," Cripe said. 

Cripe said right now Indiana is one of the worst states when it comes to smoking rates. 

"It's like one in five adults smoke," she said. 

Kole Smith at Low Bob's Discount Tobacco said while he supports it, the law would cut part of his customer base. 

"I'd see probably 25 percent of my customer base get lost because we deal with a lot of younger customers, people who are under 21," Smith said. 

Smith said he started smoking at 14 years old. 

"It's been like ten years I've been smoking now. There's definitely been some times I've tried to quit, but that obviously didn't happen," he said. 

Smith said he wishes he hadn't started at all, but it was accessible at a young age. 

"I think it's time that they started doing something about all of the underage smoking because we get kids in here, and people who try to buy when they're under 18 and got to turn them down," he said. 

Nancy Cripe said similar bills have failed in the past, and she isn't sure if this will pass. 

"When you have a high smoking rate, you're not going to have good health in the population and we've got to do something to change that. So, anything that's working that direction is a good thing," she said. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36096

Reported Deaths: 2231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10095598
Lake3833203
Allen175371
Cass15927
Elkhart149528
St. Joseph133736
Hendricks119276
Hamilton118394
Johnson1121112
Madison59961
Porter55830
Clark53041
Bartholomew52739
LaPorte44624
Howard44036
Tippecanoe4294
Jackson3992
Shelby39722
Delaware38940
Hancock35127
Boone32435
Floyd32340
Vanderburgh2892
Morgan28426
Noble26821
Montgomery24818
Clinton2461
White2389
Decatur23131
Grant22523
Dubois2093
Harrison19522
Henry18412
Kosciusko1792
Vigo1788
Marshall1782
Greene17225
Dearborn17022
Monroe17012
Lawrence16724
Warrick16729
Miami1441
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
Scott1263
Franklin1168
LaGrange1162
Ripley1086
Daviess9916
Carroll943
Steuben882
Wayne866
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper731
Jay540
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Washington501
Fulton501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb441
Starke393
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Owen341
Wells340
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams211
Gibson192
Parke180
Posey160
Martin130
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0179

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37282

Reported Deaths: 2340
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6216293
Cuyahoga4732259
Hamilton2767167
Marion268631
Lucas2313263
Pickaway209638
Summit1505181
Mahoning1466191
Butler94832
Columbiana89152
Stark782101
Lorain72260
Montgomery72016
Trumbull59451
Belmont44715
Warren39821
Medina37625
Tuscarawas3674
Miami36630
Delaware35514
Ashtabula34738
Portage33357
Lake32012
Fairfield3148
Clark3137
Wood30449
Geauga30034
Wayne29351
Licking26710
Mercer2238
Allen21933
Clermont2185
Richland2164
Darke18923
Erie18516
Madison1637
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Greene1055
Ottawa10417
Putnam9514
Sandusky8512
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Ross732
Hardin710
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams561
Union551
Muskingum541
Holmes543
Hancock531
Wyandot482
Shelby463
Fulton450
Coshocton450
Clinton451
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Defiance342
Carroll343
Lawrence311
Brown301
Champaign281
Seneca262
Highland261
Knox251
Vinton212
Ashland210
Perry191
Athens181
Henry170
Scioto170
Jackson140
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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