New bill proposes to raise the smoking age to 21

Published: Feb. 16, 2017 at 9:54 PM CST
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If you're old enough to be in the army, should you be old enough to smoke?

Smoking can soon be a 21 and up activity, if a proposed bill is passed at the Capitol.

Some people think the bill is not the best move.

"I'm kind of indifferent on it, but I understand both aspects," Brett Gallant, a Grand Island resident, said. "I don't really think it's fair, if you're a legal adult and you can live on your own and support yourself." "I think they should be allowed to make their own choices," he added.

Right now people 18 and up can smoke and purchase products.

Smoking, chewing tobacco and alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, all apply to the bill.

Managers at e-TITAN Vapors said a lot of stores will notice if the bill passes, but they think it will not affect their profits.

"The majority of my customers here are well over 21, so I don't think that it will hurt a lot of businesses that bad," e-TITAN Vapors Manager Justin Speicher said.

To some, vaping is healthier than cigarettes.

"Whether it's been against the law for a minor to have it or not, they managed to get it," Speicher said. "[Vape] has been a safer and healthier alternative for those who are on cigarettes to get off."

A former cigarette smoker now vapes and he says it's been a positive experience.

"I've completely stopping smoking and I've felt so much better, you know longevity wise," Gallant said. I think it's a way healthier option and a lot of people who are judgmental about it haven't experienced it themselves."

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