Pennsylvania has new push to raise age limit for tobacco

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A Pennsylvania senator plans to introduce legislation that would raise the state’s minimum age for tobacco sales.

The proposal by Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe, Northampton) would ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21.

In a co-sponsorship memo, Scavello said 13 percent of high school students in Pennsylvania are smokers, and 81 percent of adult smokers began before they turned 21.

He pointed to a report by the National Academy of Medicine that found raising the legal age to 21 nationwide would reduce the number of new tobacco users, decrease smoking frequency by 12 percent, and save more than 223,000 lives from deaths related to smoking.

Six other states have raised the age to 21.

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