February 25, 2020
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New Hampshire Senate raises age to buy tobacco products

Holly Ramer | AP
Holly Ramer | AP
State Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, on Wednesday introduces an amendment to a bill seeking to raise the New Hampshire's minimum age for tobacco use to 21 at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire. Lawmakers returned Wednesday for the first day of their new legislative session.

CONCORD, New Hampshire — The New Hampshire Senate voted Wednesday to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products, even though the federal government has already made the same move.

As part of a massive spending bill signed by the president last month, no one under 21 can legally buy such products anywhere in the United States.

In New Hampshire, the minimum age had just increased from 18 to 19 on Jan. 1. The state Senate on Wednesday voted 16-8 in favor of raising it further to 21.

Supporters said they want to ensure the legal age is set at 21 should the federal government lower it in the future, and they described the millions of dollars smoking-related illnesses cost the state each year. Opponents argued that those over age 18 should decide for themselves whether to take on the health risks associated with smoking.

The bill now goes to the House.

 


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