Increase to smoking age passes in Kansas Senate

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 11:37 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - An increase in the minimum age for the sale, purchase or possession of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products from 18 to 21 in Kansas passed in the Kansas Senate 28-11 on Tuesday. The bill now goes to Governor Laura Kelly.

The senate made no changes to the bill, which previously passed in the Kansas House of Representatives and prohibits electronic cigarettes and vaping products from school buildings. The bill makes selling any tobacco or vaping products to someone younger than 21 or buying them for someone under 21 a misdemeanor that can be punished with a $200 fine.

Supporters included Kansas’ largest teacher’s union, which says that vaping and electronic cigarettes are causing students to become addicted to nicotine and leading to health problems. The Olathe and Blue Valley school districts also say that the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping among students is causing the districts to divert resources towards monitoring them.