Hoosiers may see a decrease in tobacco purchase if a bill moves forward

An Indiana Senator focuses on lower smoking-related illness in the state. He plans on doing that through the 'Tobacco to 21' act. The bill would raise the minimum age to 21 for purchasing tobacco products.

Posted: May 2, 2019 6:36 PM
Updated: May 2, 2019 11:17 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.(WTHI)- Indiana tobacco companies may see a decrease in buyers if Senator Todd Young's 'Tobacco to 21' act passes.

The bill would raise the legal smoking and vaping age to 21 for Indiana residents.

The American Heart Association, Chamber of Commerce, and several others in the state are in favor of the increase. 

According to the CDC, if smoking cigarettes continue at the current rate then 5.6 million Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.

"The act takes bold and necessary action to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults," said The American Heart Association.

News 10 decided to see how members of the Wabash Valley felt about the potential change.

Albert Gilmore told us that he's been around smokers for most of his life and he thinks it's a major contributor to his constant headaches. 

"My friends and their family always smoked around me and it just led to endless headaches. It got to the point where I needed to get started on a medication to get them under control," said Gilmore. 

While Gilmore has experienced the effects of second-hand smoke, he's not completely sold on the idea of changing the minimum age.

"What good is it to increase the age when it's already being broken at such an early age? I totally agree it should be moved up if we follow the rules then it would definitely work out, but if no one is following the rules I don't know how big of a difference it will make," said Gilmore. 

For now, Gilmore remains on both ends of the discussion as this bill continues to move forward.

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