The legislative session begins soon, and when it does, lawmakers will consider a bill that will raise the smoking age.
Since about the early 90's, anyone 18 and older can buy tobacco products. But under this bill proposed by a Democratic State Representative, that age would be 21.
According to the Journal Record, State Representative Ben Loring proposes House Bill 2317. It states anyone over 21 could legally buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes. He says a similar bill passed in Hawaii earlier this year, and believes Oklahoma could do the same despite our state having some of the highest tobacco use rates in the country.
Oklahomans could also save money. Loring points to the numbers that we spend more than $1.6 billion per year on healthcare costs related to tobacco use.
This isn't the first attempt at this. In 2012 a similar bill was proposed, but failed to reach the governor's desk.