Gov. Brown Signs Bill Raising Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that raises the tobacco purchase age to 21 years, his office announced Wednesday.

The legislation, known as Senate BillX27—authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina,—was passed off the Senate Floor in March. Along with prohibiting those under 21 to purchase tobacco, it would also put a restriction on the legal age to purchase or possess tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, however active duty military personnel would be exempt from the potential new law.

According to Hernandez’s office, the bill is part of the most expansive tobacco control package passed in decades and makes California a leader in the nation for tobacco control.

“The Governor’s signature on Tobacco 21 is a signal that California presents a united front against Big Tobacco. Together, we stand to disrupt the chain of adolescent addiction,” said Senator Hernandez. “The fierce opposition from Big Tobacco on this measure proves just how important this law is and how much their business model relies on targeting our kids.”

Tobacco industry lobbyists were fiercely targeting the bill in recent weeks, Hernandez’s office reported. A referendum had also been threatened to go “scorched earth” and buy up signature gatherers to achieve that goal, according to a release from Hernandez’s office.


“The City of Long Beach supports legislation that enhances public health services, including prevention and intervention services for children and youth who may be at risk for tobacco, drug and alcohol dependency,” said the city’s Bureau of Environmental Health Manager Nelson Kerr previously.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.