Cigarette purchase age increase dies on House floor

WWL Newsroom
May 23, 2019 - 2:28 pm

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Legislation that would have increased the legal age to purchase cigarettes, dip, and vape products to 21 could not get out of the House floor amid concerns the bill infringes on individual liberties of adults. 

Bill author, West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman, argued the bill could save lives.

“If we move this to 21 there will be people who would have smoked that will never smoke, saving tremendous money in healthcare, and lives," Hoffman said.

The proposal was met with stiff opposition from Alexandria Representative, Lance Harris.  He wanted Hoffman to explain why 18-year-olds can buy a house, get a tattoo, or make any number of other crucial life decisions, but not be allowed to smoke.

“Think about it, 18-year-olds right now can get married, they can die for our country, but hey can’t make the decision to smoke," Harris asked. 

Hoffman and Harris went back and forth.  Hoffman argued we already bar 18-year-olds from purchasing alcohol, but Harris countered, saying only one of those two substances can kill you overnight. 

The final vote was 24-55.

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