McConnell wants to raise national tobacco purchasing age to 21

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco nationwide to 21 years old.

He made the announcement Thursday in Kentucky.

McConnell cited surveys that show 45 percent of the state’s high schoolers have tried vaping.

He says by raising the age to 21, middle school and high school students will have less access to tobacco products.

McConnell says he will introduce the bill in May and that it will include e-cigarettes.

“When I got back to Washington, when I get when I go back to Washington after the additional work period we have next week, I’ll introduce legislation to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. This will cover all tobacco products including vaping devices,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 90 percent of cigarette smokers try their first cigarette before they turn 18.

About a dozen states have already raised the tobacco buying age, including Illinois.

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