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Tennessee Bill Would Limit Tobacco, Vape Sales to 21 and Up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - - NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Several Tennessee lawmakers are pushing to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco or vaping products from 18 to 21.

During a news conference Monday, Republicans Sen. Shane Reeves and Rep. Bob Ramsey said the bill would help address Tennessee's poor health rankings. Reeves delayed a committee vote Tuesday.

More than a dozen health-related groups, Republican ex-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and vape company JUUL are among the change's proponents.

A fiscal note estimates the bill would annually cost the state $7 million and local governments $1 million through lost sales tax revenues. Reeves said it will save the state on tobacco users' health care costs.

Tennessee also has comparatively low cigarette taxes.

As of early January, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said six states had a tobacco age of 21. Virginia became the seventh last week.

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