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

Updated: Jan. 29, 2018 at 11:04 PM EST
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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."

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Indiana House panel backs bill raising smoking age to 21

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.

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"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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