The Senate passed SB25(S) by a vote of 14-6-1, which is a bill that
increases the legal minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. It was mostly a party line vote, though 3 Republicans (Cloutier, Delcollo and Lopez) voted yes and one conservative Democrat (Ennis) voted no.
The original SB25 was substituted before the vote to make the following changes: Individuals who are younger than 21 but are legal smokers now would not be grandfathered into the bill, and Vaping establishment employees who are under 21 are allowed to continue working there if the vapor establishment provides the required documentation to the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement. Finally, this act would take effect 90 days after enactment.
The bill is now in the House Health & Human Development Committee for consideration. The measure is backed by Gov. John Carney and is expected to pass the House.
According to a 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine, 95 percent of adults who smoke started before turning 21, and increasing the age to 21 nationwide would result in 223,000 fewer premature deaths.e
WHERE IS THE BILL NOW? House Health & Human Development 3/20/19
DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS — Townsend, Minor-Brown, Griffith, Longhurst, Hansen, Lockman, Poore, Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Chukwuocha, Seigfried
REPUBLICAN SPONSORS — Delcollo, Cloutier
YES VOTES – Brown, Cloutier, Delcollo, Hansen, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell, Paradee, Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh
NO VOTES – Bonini, Ennis, Hocker, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Wilson
ABSENT – Lawson