California may become the first US state to make 21 years the minimum legal age required for cigarette smoking.
State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) on Thursday proposed a bill to raise the legal age for smoking in California from the existing 18 to 21 years.
If the Senate Bill 151 bill would be passed by the council, California will become the first American state to have the highest legal minimum smoking age.
Tabling in the bill in the Senate on Friday, Hernandez said, “Tobacco companies are aware that people tend to become addicted to smoking if they start it at young age. Senate Bill 151 proposes to increase the legitimate smoking age in California from 18 to 21 years in an offer to restrain tobacco smoking in children and teenagers.”
As per a report from American Lung Association of California, nine in ten smokers develop the habit of cigarette smoking when they reach the age of 18 years.
36,000 children in the golden state started smoking every year, according to the report.
Expressing concern over the rising inclination of youths toward smoking habit, Hernandez said, “We can no more bear to sit on the sidelines while huge tobacco markets to our children and gets another era of youngsters snared on an item that will at last kill them.”
Meanwhile, the experts said that such remarkable comparable recommendations of raising minimum smoking age have drastically failed in many American states, including New Jersey, Utah, Colorado and Maryland.
The bill not only intends to check the tobacco sale to those under 21 years, it would also officially allow the state health authorities carry random or on location review of the retailers linked with dealings of tobacco item. Moreover, it will also boycott commercial ads of tobacco products having individuals who are under 21.
Agencies like Cancer Action Network, American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association back the proposal.
Cigarette smoking claims lives of more than 480,000 preventable deaths every year, according to the Centers of Drug Administration and Prevention (CDC).