McConnell bill to raise legal smoking age to 21 to get vote in Senate panel

A bill to increase the minimum age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21 is set for a vote in a key Senate committee Wednesday.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Monday added the provision to a bill, the Lower Health Care Costs Act, intended to lower healthcare costs and bring generic drugs to market faster.

The bill to raise the minimum age was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and would apply to cigarettes, vaping devices, and other tobacco products.

“Tobacco is clearly harmful and addictive, especially for young people … Helping Americans live healthier lives is an important part of reducing health care costs,” committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement.

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