In a move that has the backing of Delaware Governor, John Carney the Delaware House of Representatives approved S.B. 25 by a 25-16 vote. The move was preceded by the senate passing the same bill in mid-March by a 14-6 vote.
Upon the bill being passed Governor John Carney stated, “Preventing smoking is the best thing we can do to improve the health of our state, and reduce the growth of health care costs over time. The use of tobacco-related products is the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Delaware and across the country. Tobacco-related illnesses, such as lung cancer and heart disease, claim the lives of 1,400 Delawareans each year, and treatment of those illnesses costs Delaware families, businesses and the State more than $530 million annually. We expect this legislation will help curb the impact of smoking on Delaware families by preventing more young Delawareans from picking up this dangerous habit in the first place. I want to thank members of the General Assembly for their partnership on this important legislation, and I look forward to signing this bill into law soon.”
Delaware is set to join California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington in raising the tobacco purchase age to 21. While Maryland and New York have sent bills to the Governors desk in their respective states where they await a Gubernatorial signature or veto.