Tobacco Bills Would Raise Age To 21, Prohibit Online Vaping Sales

May 3, 2019

The Vermont Legislature has taken aim at reducing youth smoking rates with a trio of bills. Rep. George Till of Jericho joined Vermont Edition to update us on the content, goals and current status of the legislation.

One of the bills increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. It's on its way to Governor Phil Scott for his approval. Scott is expected to sign the bill.

Needham, Massachusetts was the first town to pass such a bill. Till said the results have been noticeable.

"What they found by raising the age from 18 to 21 was a 50 percent reduction in youth smoking in their town," he said.

In Needham, teen smoking rates dropped from 13% to 7% over the first four years of the new law.

A second bill prohibiting the purchase of electronic cigarettes and all related tobacco products online is awaiting final consideration in the Statehouse.

Another bill that would tax vaping products has been passed by the House and is awaiting approval in the Senate.

Broadcast live on Friday, May 3, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.