In California, Senator Ed Hernandez a Democrat from West Covina introduced legislation that would raise the smoking age in the state from 18 to 21. According to Hernandez who is an optometrist he has support for the bill from various health group, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society. The bill is expected to meet strong opposition from the tobacco industry.
Luther Cobb, MD, president of the California Medical Association said, “that increasing the age at which people can purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 will help reduce tobacco use in young people, hence reducing the number of preventable diseases.”
Thankfully there are voters on our side and hopefully re-election matters more than the contributions a special interest group may make to a campaign. According to one Ventura resident, “It’s funny that the politicians in Sacramento have nothing better to do with their time than continually attack smokers as a minority. When you are 18 you are an adult and you get to do what you want.”
California is home to 38 million residents over 163,696 square miles and became a state in 1850.