Bill to raise Louisiana's age to vape, smoke wins final passage in Legislature
A bill to raise Louisiana's age to vape, smoke or use any tobacco or nicotine product from 18 to 21 won final passage Tuesday.
House Bill 473 by Republican Rep. Buddy Mincey of Denham Springs would bring the state in line with federal law.
It now goes to Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk for his signature.
Mincey said he was asked by a high school administrator to bring the bill because of rampant vaping on the Denham Springs High School campus.
"I really wasn't sure I wanted to do it because a similar bill got killed in the House two years ago, but then I saw a survey showing kids are vaping 100 times a day," Mincey said in an interview with USA Today Network. "The results made it really obvious we needed to do something."
Mincey said all but 17 states have already raised the age to 21 to comply with federal law.
The bill makes it illegal for people younger than 21 to buy or use the products.
"Vaping has become so prevalent among young people; my concern is on the long-term health impacts," Mincey said. "It's clear what smoking does to your health, but we don't know all of the long-term impacts of vaping."
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.