Tobacco 21: Connecticut Officially Raises Age To Buy Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, And More | Connecticut Public Radio

Tobacco 21: Connecticut Officially Raises Age To Buy Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, And More

Oct 1, 2019

A number of laws from the last legislative session went into effect Tuesday, including a tobacco ban for consumers under the age of 21.

The minimum age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products has been raised from 18 to 21.

The measure Governor Ned Lamont signed earlier this year was meant to protect young people.

“With the rising use of e-cigarettes and vaping products among young people, we are seeing a growing public health crisis,” Lamont said on May 31. “Some have pointed out that raising the age to 21 will result in a net revenue loss to the state, but when it comes to the health of our young people we need to do what is right.”

And the governor's move has support around the state.

Rebecca Warchut of West Hartford said she welcomes raising the age for legal tobacco use.

“I think it keeps some substances that are pretty harmful out of the hands of children, which is pretty necessary,” Warchut said. “I’m a teacher and I grew up in tobacco country in North Carolina, so I have seen the damage it can cause individuals.”

Michele McKelvey also supported the new law when she spoke to Connecticut Public Radio.

“There are health risks and health is being compromised with very young people,” McKelvey said. “It’s really a problem. As a registered nurse I’m concerned. As a mother I’m concerned.”

In addition to the raising of the age to purchase tobacco products, Lamont indicated last week that he’d explore further restricting e-cigarettes. Several states have banned flavored e-cigarette cartridges – including Rhode Island and New York – in the wake of a rash of vaping-related illnesses among e-cigarette users. Massachusetts has banned the practice.