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Maine Smoking Age Raised to 21

Maine Smoking Age Raised to 21

(Darko Draskovic/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 04 August 2017 06:56 AM

Maine is the fourth state in the U.S. to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

The state's House and Senate voted Wednesday to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, despite Gov. Paul LePage's objection to it, according to Fortune.

LePage argued that if 18-year-olds can join the military, then they should also be able to purchase cigarettes, The New York Times noted.

Sen. Paul Davis said one of his main concerns with today's legal smoking age is the potential access of cigarettes in the schools.

"People who join the military don’t have 15-year-old kids following them around and being impressed by their actions," Davis said after the Senate’s vote on Wednesday. "It’s about the availability of cigarettes in schools."

Those against the bill argued that by increasing the legal age, it would only lead to an even worse alternative: drug abuse.

"We will see cigarettes becoming a product of the black market, sold by black market drug dealers who are selling more than just cigarettes and attracting new clients to their harder products," Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey said, according to Fortune.

However, healthcare officials have watched teen smoking become more and more of a problem across the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 5.6 million Americans under age 18 are expected to die young due to smoking at the rate things have been going.

The new bill will be effective as of July 1, 2018.

According to the Times, the law will also bring about stricter regulations regarding electronic cigarettes.

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Maine is the fourth state in the U.S. to raise the legal smoking age to 21 after lawmakers voted Wednesday to approve the change, despite Gov. Paul LePage's objection.
maine, smoking, age, raised
Friday, 04 August 2017 06:56 AM
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