- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a California bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The governor of California has raised the legal age to buy tobacco for smoking, dipping, chewing and vaping from 18 to 21.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he signed a bill calling for the change.

Supporters of the law aimed to deter adolescents from the harmful, sometimes fatal effects of nicotine addiction. The Institute of Medicine reports 90 percent of daily smokers began using tobacco before turning 19.

Veterans organizations and Republican lawmakers in California objected to the bill, saying people old enough to die for their country are old enough to use tobacco.

Hawaii officials decided last April to become the first state in the nation to increase its legal smoking age to 21.

More than 100 local jurisdictions around the country have made the change, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

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9:30 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown faces a midnight deadline to act on six bills to restrict tobacco use in California, including a bill to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21.

Brown must sign, veto or return the bills to the Legislature Wednesday, or they automatically become law on Thursday.

The Democratic governor has not commented on the package of tobacco proposals.

Other bills would regulate electronic cigarettes, allow local tobacco taxes, establish annual tobacco license fees and push for all charter schools to be tobacco free. One would expand tobacco-free workplaces to include small businesses, break rooms and hotel lobbies.

Democratic lawmakers passed the proposals almost two months ago. Legislative leaders waited to send them to Brown because of political threats from tobacco companies to overturn them.

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