Lawmakers urged to raise age to buy cigarettes to 21

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Cancer survivors, medical professionals, local youth and their families plan to press Connecticut lawmakers to pass legislation this session that increases the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.

The legislation also includes e-cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Heart Association are organizing a lobbying day on Wednesday at the state Capitol to draw attention to the bill.

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Bryte Johnson, the cancer action network’s director of governmental relations, says roughly 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. She says “countless lives and health care dollars” can be saved if the legal age is increased from 18 to 21.

The bill also bars the sale of flavored products. The vaping industry says that will harm people trying to quit smoking cigarettes.

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