Vermont House Gives Final Approval To Tobacco 21 Bill

The bill was quickly passed on a voice vote last Wed

The Vermont House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would raise the legal age to purchase and use tobacco products in the state to 21.

The bill would raise the legal age to use or buy cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.  The so-called Tobacco 21 bill was passed after two amendments were offered but failed.   Progressive Brian Cina of Burlington attempted to place an exemption on the ceremonial use of tobacco. 

“The amendment to S.86 would allow people of any age to possess tobacco products or paraphernalia in connection with participation in a bona fide religious, spiritual or ceremonial activity.”

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson:  “Member from Westford.”

Republican Robert Bancroft:   “Would it be possible for an 18 year old to sit on the steps of the Statehouse here and smoke a cigarette and claim it’s a ceremony?”

That amendment was withdrawn before a vote was taken.  A second amendment allowing exemptions for military personnel failed with 33 yeas and 109 nays.  The bill itself then quickly passed on a voice vote.

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