Kentucky lawmakers missed the chance last week to combat chronic health risks by failing to consider raising the age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarettes, public health advocates said.
The proposals had been floated as amendments to a bill that would set up a way for students to anonymously report concerns about vaping at public schools. The amendments would have increased the state’s smoking age to 21 and banned people under 21 from purchasing e-cigarettes and other vapor products.
The amendments were withdrawn at the start of the Kentucky Senate’s debate on the measure, which later passed without the tougher age restrictions on a 33-3 vote. The bill now goes to the House.
One public health advocacy group, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said the Senate’s failure to take up the amendments was a “tragic loss of opportunity to protect Kentucky’s adolescents and teens from the growing epidemic of vaping.”
A Senate committee recently voted down a bill that would ban all tobacco products for anyone under 21.
A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2019 edition of Education Week as Vaping-Related Bill Passes Without Tougher Age Restrictions in Kentucky