Top Senate Republican would raise minimum smoking age to 21
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican is introducing legislation to raise the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.
The measure by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would cover not only tobacco products, but also e-cigarettes and vapor products.
McConnell represents Kentucky, which long was one of the nation's leading tobacco producers. But tobacco production has fallen in the state in recent year.
Kentucky has had among the highest cancer rates in the country. McConnell says the use of e-cigarettes and vaping has become "a completely new health epidemic" in his state, with growing use of those products by teenagers.
He says vaping is "a public health crisis." McConnell says it's up to parents and public officials to keep these products "out of high schools and out of youth culture."
Stories that may interest you
Governors across the country are facing increasing pressure to pass statewide mask requirements and mount a more coherent pandemic response as coronavirus cases soar to record levels, daily deaths rise and hospitals in the South and West face a crush of patients.
An oppressive heat wave is intersecting with a COVID-19 spike in some of the pandemic’s hardest-hit U.S. cities, posing another obstacle for officials and health experts who must decide what’s riskier: indoor transmission or dangerous temperatures.
The governor of Japan’s Okinawa is demanding a top U.S. military commander take tougher prevention measures and more transparency hours after officials were told that more than 60 Marines at two bases have been infected over the past few days