If young people continue to smoke at the current rate, about one in 13 Americans who are currently 17 years old or younger will die early from a smoking-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 5.6 million of today's young people.
To reduce the use of tobacco among young people, Oregon recently joined California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey in raising the age for buying tobacco to 21.
Under Oregon's bill, sponsored by Representative Rich Vial (R), store clerks face fines ranging from $50 to $ 1,000 if they sell tobacco products or vapes to anyone under age 21. Keeping tobacco from adults under 21 is about saving lives and money, Vial told The Oregonian. State residents spend more than S3 billion a year treating their tobacco-related illnesses, he said.
The bill had bipartisan support--and bipartisan opposition. Calling it a case of government overreach, some lawmakers voted against the bill...