Connecticut raises tobacco age limit to 21

MERIDAN, Conn. (WVIT) – Starting Tuesday, you need to be 21 to purchase tobacco products in Connecticut.

Governor Lamont told students he hopes it sends a clear message when it comes to smoking and vaping.

Businesses say it’ll have a significant impact, but the state says it’s something that needed to be done.

For many students around the country, vaping is something they’re seeing every day. Student Britney Diakpieng said, “People do it in school. They leave class. They do it in class.”

This is why Governor Lamont says raising the age limit from 18 to 21 to buy tobacco products in the state is so important.

At a news conference at Platt High School in Meriden, the governor spoke to students about the law which went into effect today.

“There’s a lot of great ways you can have a hell of a lot of fun, but stay away from these substances,” the governor said. “Especially these illegal substances. We certainly know that the illegal vaping products, in particular, are deadly.”

There have been hundreds of lung illnesses and more than a dozen deaths linked to vaping but no single ingredient or product linked to all cases.

NBC News recently had lab testing done on 10 knock-off marijuana vapes and found a pesticide linked to hydrogen cyanide in all of them.

When it comes to raising the age limits, some students we spoke to doubt it’ll make a big difference on who vapes. Student Treasure Ransom said, “Bringing the age up is a really good idea but people will still be able to get it regardless.”

Businesses like Songbirds Vape and Smoke Shop in West Hartford say the new law will certainly impact their bottom line. They estimate at least 30% of customers were between 18 and 20 but say almost all who turn to vaping do it to try and quit smoking.

Songbirds Vape N Smoke Shop manager Alex Keenan said, “It makes it difficult for people who might be over 18 that have been smoking since they were younger and are trying to get off cigarettes.”

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