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.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
Harrison441073
DeKalb439485
Montgomery436390
Whitley406343
Huntington402481
Steuben399759
Miami393169
Jasper387454
Knox375890
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346970
Adams345355
Jefferson335785
White331553
Daviess3033100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
Fountain220348
Sullivan214343
Owen211658
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187137
Rush175826
Vermillion174644
Franklin170335
Tipton166146
Parke149316
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120547
Newton113736
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101414
Martin91615
Warren83815
Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
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