Idaho panel kills bill to raise smoking age to 21

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho Senate panel has killed a bill that would have increased the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Fred Martin, a Republican from Boise, would have applied to smoking, chewing tobacco and using alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. The goal was to join California, New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii and Main to ban smoking until age 21.

The Senate State Affairs Committee today killed the proposal after an emotion hearing, where several people shared stories of family members who had died from lung cancer.

The same committee refused to advance a similar proposal last year.

Opponents argued the proposal would strip rights from young people who are considered responsible enough to vote, be charged as an adult with a crime and serve in the military.

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