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Indiana House Approves Measure Raising Smoking And Vaping Age To 21

house chambers

(Brandon Smith, IPB News)

The Indiana House easily approved legislation Tuesday raising the legal age to smoke and vape to 21.

The measure focuses on enforcement, since Congress recently raised the age as well. It makes it easier for retailers who sell to those underage to rack up higher fines and even get their licenses suspended – which retailers have complained about.

But Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says the bill doesn’t go far enough in helping stop young people from getting addicted to nicotine.

“The big things that we could do would be done through the tax system, essentially," DeLaney says. "Taxing vaping and increasing the taxing on cigarettes.”

But there are others, like Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), who think the bill already goes too far.

“What about obesity? Forty percent of Americans are obese. Half a million Americans die every year from obesity-related diseases," Lucas says. "Is it going to be a war on cheeseburgers next?”

The bill passed 84 to 14 and heads to the Senate.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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