Sweeping change for California smokers under 21

Posted at 7:28 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 22:28:30-05

The California legislature has taken a big step to take action against tobacco use.

If the smoking age increases, this would be the first step in decades that California has taken to fight tobacco.

Today lawmakers voted to raise the legal sale age for tobacco products from 18 to 21. However, Governor Brown still must sign off on the legislation.

And if he does, California will become the second state, after Hawaii, to raise the smoking age limit.

Despite health consequences, 19-year-old Richard Simpson has been smoking cigarettes since he was just nine years old and he says this law is a waste of our government's time.

"It's a stressful thing to have to quit and not be able to have a cigarette when you need it, especially when you're addicted to it and again, I just think there is so many other things that our government can be spending it's time on that petty tobacco laws," said Simpson.

A national study shows 95% of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21.  

This is just one of six anti-tobacco bills that state lawmakers discussed this morning.

There is no word when Governor Brown will be making a decision.