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Jul 22, 2017 8:54 AM

Maine lawmakers back bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 is headed to Republican Gov. Paul LePage's desk.

The bill would take effect July 2018 and also apply to electronic smoking devices.

The governor hasn't indicated whether he'll sign the bill into law.

The House voted 113-34 Thursday to support the bill, which previously received strong support from the Senate.

The American Cancer Society says that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21.

The Cigar Association of America and tobacco producers Altria and Reynolds American Inc. lobbied against the bill.

Retailers argued it would drive tobacco sales to New Hampshire and said adults should be allowed to purchase legal products. Such groups argued kids will always find a way to access tobacco products.

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