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Bill To Increase Minimum Smoking Age Dies In House

Indiana House chamber.

Photo: Steve Burns

Because Tuesday was a committee passage deadline, the bill can’t advance this session.

House Republicans effectively killed legislation Tuesday that would have raised Indiana’s minimum smoking age to 21 years old.

The House Public Health Committee unanimously approved the bill Monday, sending it to the floor. But Speaker Brian Bosma announced Tuesday since the bill has a fiscal impact, it also needed to go through the House Ways and Means Committee – and because Tuesday was a committee passage deadline, the bill can’t advance this session.

Increasing the minimum smoking age would cause a forecasted decrease in state revenues from tobacco sales, prompting the recommitment to the House’s fiscal committee.

Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) has worked on the issue for more than a decade. He’s retiring this year after more than 30 years in the General Assembly and says he’s sad the bill couldn’t advance.

Ways and Means Chair Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says, as a medical doctor, he wishes no one would smoke but doesn’t think putting a prohibition in state law will have an effect.

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