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Wisconsin passes bill to raise tobacco age to 21

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Assembly Bill 422 passed on February 20, 2020.

LA CROSSE, Wis (WXOW) - Wisconsin is taking steps to bring state law in line with federal regulations when it comes to buying tobacco products.

Last Thursday, the state assembly passed a bill to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21.

The bill follows federal legislation passed in December, raising the tobacco age to 21.

The conversation surrounding the minimum age of tobacco sales has been heating up in recent years, as e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular with youth all across the country.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, one in five high schoolers use e-cigarettes, and one in nine middle schoolers have tried them.

La Crosse County Health Educator Judi Zabel said the bill is just one piece of the pie.

"If we raise the age, if we raise the tax and make it more difficult for kids to purchase the product. If we increase the number of places that you cannot smoke an e-cigarette or other tobacco products. All make it more difficult for youth to initiate to start a tobacco addiction," said Zabel.

19 other states, including California, New York, and Texas have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

Candace Price

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