The Kansas Senate voted 28-11 to pass House Bill 2269, which would raise the state’s minimum tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21, ksnt.com reported. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.
The bill would bring Kansas into compliance with federal law making it illegal for retailers to sell tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.
Republican Representative Tom Kessler of Wichita, a supporter of the bill, said the state could lose federal funding if it doesn’t pass. “We do lose a little money if we don’t follow federal law,” Kessler said. “If we don’t complete this transition within the window allowed by the federal government, we will lose approximately $1.2 million in funding.”
Representative John Eplee said some retailers in the state have moved toward federal compliance, but others have not, making it harder to enforce the federal law. “Most suppliers are already in compliance with this, but are not required to, making enforcement in our state ‘fluctuating,'” Eplee said. “Forty-six other states are already in compliance … we’re just asking Kansas to do the same.”
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