Louisiana Considers Raising Smoking Age To 21 With Exceptions For Cops

Louisiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would raise the smoking age to 21, with some exceptions.

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana lawmakers are considering legislation that would raise the smoking age in the state to 21 with some very unusual exemptions.

The bill was stuck in the Louisiana House Budget Committee with no hope of moving forward until legislators compromised and tagged exemptions on the proposed law, WDSU reported.

State representatives have excluded law enforcement, first responders, and members of the military from the proposed law’s age restriction.

Anyone who turns 18 before Dec. 31 would also be exempt from the new smoking age, WDSU reported.

The measure passed out of the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee in April and now that it has been passed by the budget committee, it will go to the State House floor for debate.

Proponents of the legislation said the change to the smoking age is their attempt to curb the new “vaping epidemic” that has been credited with getting teenagers hooked on nicotine, WAFB reported.

While some anti-smoking activists said the legislation doesn’t go far enough to stop smoking, the bill’s sponsor said he believed it would save lives and cut health care costs, according to WDSU.

"It's not complicated. It's the right thing to do," Republican State Representative Frank Hoffmann said when he introduced the bill, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"It's not complicated. It's the right thing to do," said Hoffmann, from West Monroe. "It will reduce deaths."

Opponents of the legislation said that it interferes with adults making personal choices.

"A person at 18 years old is able to die for this country, to vote to decide the direction of this country," Stonewall Republican State Representative Larry Bagley said.

The exemptions tacked on to the measure to get it out of the budget committee reflected compromises.

On Monday, Louisiana State House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry used his vote to break a tie that would have trapped the measure in committee and likely put it out of commission for the remainder of the legislative term, WDSU reported.

Comments (10)
No. 1-9
THEDUKE
THEDUKE

raise it to 21 all across the board.....and maybe some will come to their senses while they wait.

America1st
America1st

This is stupid!! I’m not a smoker but again government putting their nose where it does not belong. You can die for your country at 18 but your not allowed to smoke? Seems a bit like a dictatorship to me.

RPG156
RPG156

The exceptions make even less sense than the rest of it. We expect those classes to be in the best physical condition, not smokers.

deecee
deecee

Why not ban young people from eating fast food---it isn't good for you and can lead to diabetes, stroke and heart attacks. Or maybe take away the driving privileges....more accidents for the same age group. Seriously, does the government feel the need to regulate everything??? At some point you have to let them make their own choices, good or bad, just as we all did. Hopefully if they make the wrong choice they will grow and learn from it. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous laws I have seen.

jfpitt3
jfpitt3

Please join parents, students, educators, physicians and healthcare leaders statewide in URGING Louisiana lawmakers to fight teen (and newborn) nicotine addiction by supporting Tobacco 21 legislation: LA House Bill 38. Here's why supporting Louisiana Tobacco 21 (HB 38) is important:

Libssuckroyally
Libssuckroyally

Yet DEMONCRATS want to lower the voting age to 16. The government is slowly chipping away American citizens rights. The state of Delaware is looking to decriminalize minors with alcohol yet those same minors can't smoke cigarette until they are 21. And yes Delaware a Democrat Run state. Being a Democrat is a serious mental issue

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

I have no issues with this law, as it is designed to benefit the health of everyone under 21.... I think it's embarrassing to make exceptions for first responders, especially since many FDs have anti-tobacco policies.

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

Does anyone know of a PD which will swear in a cop who hasn't reached the age of 21? I don't.

Grog
Grog

With all the heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and benzos out there killing people, they worry about tobacco! Idiots!