Colorado Won’t Hike Tobacco Age To 21

March 19, 2014 10:42 PM

Colorado Won’t Hike Tobacco Age To 21
" DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers voted not to raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21 Wednesday, making Colorado the third state this year to consider but reject the higher smoking age.

The House Finance Committee rejected the proposal on a 7-6 vote.

The breakdown didn’t fall on partisan lines, with a Democrat joining Republicans against the plan. One of the sponsors, meanwhile, is a Republican.

The Democrat who cast the deciding vote against the measure said that 18-year-olds are adults who should be persuaded not to smoke, not banned from smoking.

“Do we tell them, you may not do this, we’re going to stop them? Or do we urge them to take responsibility for their actions and treat them like adults?” Rep. Daniel Kagan asked. “I come down on the side of treating 18-to-20-year-olds like adults.”

House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, a fellow Denver Democrat, opposed the bill, too. He wasn’t voting on the committee that rejected the measure, but his public hesitancy may have influenced the committee.

“I think the conversation on smoking and how we make sure that we protect our kids is an important conversation. As of right now, I do not support the bill "

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