Lawmakers Considering Bill to Raise Legal Tobacco Sales Age - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lawmakers Considering Bill to Raise Legal Tobacco Sales Age

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 9:24 PM Updated:

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Maryland lawmakers are debating a bill that would raise the state's legal age requirement to buy tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21.

It's a bill 18 year-old, Brent Herndon, doesn't take too seriously.

"Iit doesn't make much of a difference," Herndon said.

Like alcohol, Herndon says changing the legal age won't stop young adults like him from getting what they want.

Some like Herndon say House Bill 953 deserves nothing more than a scoff, but others like Tray Robinson say the freedom to smoke or not smoke is no laughing matter.

"Government shouldn't be stepping in. That's something you need to figure out on your own within your household," Robinson said.

But health officials like Alexandra Duff, prevention supervisor with the Talbot County Health Department, argue it's a bill sorely needed.

"Having people who are 21 buying tobacco would be a lot easier than having an 18-year-old who's a senior in high school who can then give it to his friends or her friends," Duff said.

Duff also says less access to tobacco products could improve health.

Rick Mulder, CEO of Vapor Alley in Easton, says he agrees with Duff.

"I don't think people that young should be smoking cigarettes, so in that regard, raise it to 30, raise it to 21," Mulder said.

Mulder admits the bill could impact his sales, but for Herndon, it's nothing that'll stop him.

''It's not going to be good for some people," Herndon said.

In Maryland, electronic smoking devices, like vapes or e-cigarettes, are not considered tobacco products. If House Bill 953 passes into law, e-devices would be considered a tobacco product.

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