LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Senate passed a bill Thursday that could soon require anyone to be at least 21 in order to buy tobacco products.
Right now, federal law requires anyone to be at least 18 years old in order to buy any tobacco products, whether traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes. But, the House of Representatives passed a $1.4 trillion spending bill this week, which includes a measure that would raise that age to 21.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Tim Kaine, D-VA, introduced this measure in May, in hopes of improving overall public health in our country, especially hoping to reduce teen use.
One Lake Area resident though said 18 years old is old enough.
“I think if we’re asking them to die for our country, they oughta choose whether they smoke or not," Bob Green said.
While other Lake Area residents said they’re all in favor of the change.
“I think if you smoke too young that you get a habit and you can’t kick it. And I’m one of them. If I had to wait until I was 21 I probably wouldn’t be a smoker now," Jacki Lampton said.
“I think that’s great. I think that needs to be done," Kathy Lewis said. “Too many people getting cancer from smoking and too many teenagers beginning to smoke.”
One woman said she wishes the minimum wage was even higher than 21.
“I think it should be raised to at least 25. I mean, it’s a bad habit, it’s expensive and it’s not good for you," Vickie Dunbar said.
Now that the Senate passed the bill, it awaits the President’s signature to become law.