- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is seeking to increase the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products in Connecticut to help discourage young people from smoking.

Democratic and Republican legislators announced support Friday for a bill to raise the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21. The bill, awaiting action in the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, would apply to the sale of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products.

Sen. Mae Flexer, a Democrat from Killingly, said research shows children often buy tobacco products from their older peers. By increasing the minimum smoking age, she said the state can help eliminate a major route used by teens to obtain these products.

The bill could face challenges because it would reduce tax revenues by an estimated $42 million.

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