RICHMOND, Va. – A bipartisan bill that would raise the minimum age required to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 passed the Virginia Senate Tuesday.
The bill passed with a vote of 32-8. However, lawmakers did add an exception saying active duty military can still get tobacco at 18 years old.
News 3 reporter Brian Hill reported on the legislation when it was first introduced. This legislation would apply to vapor-based and tradition tobacco products.
Virginia Beach Delegate Christopher Stolle is one of the lawmakers supporting this bill.
“Raising the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21 is a common sense way to address this escalating public health concern,” noted Delegate Christopher P. Stolle, M.D. (R-Virginia Beach), who is sponsoring House Bill 2748. “The rapid growth of the number of teenagers vaping, at a time when the use of traditional tobacco is at an all-time low, should set off alarms for every parent. This legislation will help to reverse that trend.”
He told News 3 another concern is the fact that many 18-year-olds are still in high school, giving them the opportunity to purchase tobacco products for their underage friends.
The bill now heads to the House of Delegates.