Proposed Indiana ban would declare some legal adults too young to smoke

Proposed Indiana ban would declare some legal adults too young to smoke

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - A bill raising the legal smoking age to 21 passed a committee vote in the Indiana state legislature.

Proposed by Indianapolis representative Charlie Brown, a synopsis on the state website said the bill "raises the (smoking) age from 18 years of age to 21 years of age."

The CDC estimates that one in every five Hoosiers smokes.

Brown recently passed a statewide Indiana ban on smoking in restaurants and in most public places.  He said a sweeping prohibition is still needed targeting young adults.

"Those 18 to 21 cannot legally possess any tobacco products," Brown said, "including the vapers and all those kind of glitzy things."

A brief series of conversations with people in this age group revealed a surprising amount of agreement.  On the New Albany campus of Indiana University Southeast, the proposed ban was backed by both non-smokers and smokers.

Sophomore Gabriel Stockwell, a non-smoker, said he believed the ban would not have a negative effect: "Maybe this would be a good thing for them if they possibly wanted to quit in the future."

Haley Johnson, 21, a smoker, said she wishes there had been a ban when she was 18.

"I had a lot of people around me when I was 18 and I was a social smoker,"  Johnson said.  "I feel like I would have made better decisions at 21 now than at 18."

IUS junior James Eversole, also a smoker, sees a more practical side if the ban passes: "I can't buy cigarettes anymore so that means I will not have to take out 5 dollars to by some smokes every once in a while."

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