Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Commend the House for Approving Legislation Raising the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products to 21
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz are commending the Connecticut House of Representatives for approving legislation that will prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic delivery systems, and vapor products to persons under the age of 21.
The bill, which closely mirrors legislation Governor Lamont proposed earlier this year, was approved this afternoon in the House by a vote of 124-22. It next needs to be approved in the Senate before the governor can sign it into law. If it receives final approval, Connecticut will become the 14th state to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
Governor Lamont said, “Many years ago when most of our laws surrounding tobacco products were written, the medical evidence on the impact the substance has, particularly on young people, did not exist. Continuing the enforcement of outdated laws just because that’s the way it’s always been is not a good enough reason for why they should continue to reflect outdated perceptions. And now, with the rising use of e-cigarettes and vaping products among young people, we are seeing a growing public health crisis. Some have pointed out that raising the age to 21 will result in a net revenue loss to the state, but when it comes to the health of our young people we need to do what is right. I commend the legislators today who had the courage to vote for this bill, and particularly express my gratitude for the leadership of Representative Jonathan Steinberg and Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey. Let’s get this bill through the Senate so I can sign it into law.”
Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said, “Adolescent brains are particularly vulnerable to damage from nicotine addiction. We all know that smoking leads to various tobacco-related illnesses including lung disease, heart disease, and cancer. Considering that nearly nine out of ten smokers start by the time they turn 18, this legislation will help reduce levels of nicotine dependence and over time, decrease the number of tobacco related deaths across our state.”
The legislation is House Bill 7200, An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Cigarettes, Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products to Persons Under Age Twenty-One.