Should Pennsylvania raise the age to buy tobacco and vaping products?

PENNSYLVANIA -- How old should people be to buy tobacco and vaping products? That's the big question as lawmakers in Harrisburg discuss a bill that would raise the age.

For some people, the answer is easy.

"21. You have to be 21 to drink," said Robin Wormley of Dover, York County.

Wormley is a former smoker. Back in her twenties, she says she picked up the habit.

"Things had happened where stress took over, and I followed suit for maybe four, five months... And I thought, 'No. My clothes stink,'" explained Wormley.

"My opinion is, 'I mean, if you like it, go ahead and do it. As long as it's not effecting everything else, your family, stuff like that," said Alexio Milan of York.

Milan says he vapes to relax. Right now, the 18-year-old can legally buy a vape pen, but some people want to change that.

A bill, if passed, would increase the age to buy those products to 21 in Pennsylvania.

"Young people don't really look for the health things, and they're going to go out earlier in life if they keep smoking these things," said Iyona McFadden, a 19-year-old college student from York County. "I don't smoke or drink, and I'm in college, and they're all like, 'why don't you do this, do that?!' and I'm like, 'Im good off of all that.'"

Some lawmakers for the change say it would deter younger teens from using and getting hooked on tobacco products.

They believe it gives teens more time to think about the consequences, including what it could mean for their health down the road.

"They're more developed and their thinking process is more developed," added McFadden.

Others think the age to buy should be when you're considered a legal adult, and that's 18.

"We should, you know, worry more about more other stuff, crimes, people getting killed, other stuff in society than vapes and stuff like that," added Milan.

The bill passed through the Pennsylvania Senate.

If it passes through the Pennsylvania House and Governor Tom Wolf signs it into law, Pennsylvania would join New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and 15 other states which have raised the age.

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