Age increase for purchasing of tobacco products

Kaye Paddyfote

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On Oct. 1 Connecticut, along with Maryland, increased the age to buy tobacco products to 21-years-old. Last May, the Senate voted 33-3. The bill was later passed on to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. 

“Increasing the age of being able to purchase tobacco products is going to dramatically cut the number of young people who start smoking in our state,” Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly said. 

In Connecticut alone, there were 18 bills last year between the Statehouse and the Senate that would increase E-cigarette regulations. 

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“My concern is to protect our vulnerable teen population, and it is time to ban the sale of these devices, so we can end their e-cigarette dependence, and prevent our younger children from developing this very real addiction,””

— State Rep. Maria Horn (D-Salisbury)


The University of Michigan’s annual national Monitoring the Future Panel study found that the use of vaping products, or e-cigarettes, to vape marijuana as well as nicotine, doubled between 2017 and 2018.

At Quinnipiac, a tobacco ban was placed on all three campuses last January. The university got rid of all its outdoor smoke “zones”. Since the tobacco ban, the campus has seen less e-cigarette usage. Health and wellness initiatives have helped students get rid of products, such as Juuls, by having students bring them in to exchange them for Quinnipiac merchandise. There is no data on the difference in the number of students who have continued to use these products after the tobacco ban.

However, change is being noticed.

“I have seen many more students come in and ask about ways to quit smoking,”  Kevin Parker, the university health and wellness educator, said.

Although the age has increased to 21 to purchase tobacco products, the hope is that students will think about their health for the future and refrain from using such products as they can contribute to health problems later in their life.