Mississippians not required to be 21 to buy tobacco products

January 26, 2018 10:39:50 AM

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JACKSON -- A House committee doesn't want to require Mississippians to be 21 to buy tobacco products. 

 

The House Ways and Means Committee, on a split voice vote Wednesday, rejected House Bill 835. The measure sponsored by Rep. Debra Butler Dixon, a Raymond Democrat, would have increased the age to buy cigarettes and other products from the current 18. 

 

States with ages above 18 include Alabama, Alaska and Utah at 19; and California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oregon at 21. 

 

In 2016, Adams County made 21 the tobacco-buying age in areas outside Natchez. 

 

Tobacco-control advocates also want Mississippi's tobacco tax -- now 68 cents per pack of cigarettes -- raised to $1.50 a pack. 

 

They say a higher smoking age and higher taxes would deter use, cutting future health costs and deaths.