California is likely to become the first American state with the highest minimum smoking age if a bill would be passed by the council.
The bill for increasing the legal age for smoking was proposed by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) on Thursday.
Making an announcement 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.”
Nine in ten smokers develop the smoking habit when they attain 18 years of age, according to California’s American Lung Association. The report also showed that 36,000 children in the Golden State started smoking every year.
“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,” Hernandez asserted.
If Senate Bill 151 would be successfully passed, then California will become the first state to raise the minimum smoking age to the highest ever of 21 years. According to the experts, such significant comparable recommendations have drastically failed in Utah, New Jersey, Maryland and Colorado.
Along with barring the tobacco sale to people younger than 21 years of age, the bill would also give official nod to state health authorities for conducting random or on location-wise review of the retailers associated with the dealings of tobacco item.
The bill also aims at boycotting commercials related to tobacco and smokeless tobacco item to the individuals who are under 21.
The proposal is being supported by American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the Cancer Action Network.
Hailing the proposed bill, California Medical Association president Luther Cobb said that raising the age bar at a time when the youngsters can legally buy tobacco to 21 years can carry out a check on the utilization of tobacco among youngsters and lower the frequency of preventable diseases.
Cigarette smoking, which takes more than 480,000 preventable deaths every year, has been legally permissible by most of the US states at 18 years of age. However, some have raised it at 19. A few districts and urban areas, including New York City, have raised the smoking age to 21 years.