LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18)– U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced plans at a press conference Thursday to introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate to raise the nationwide minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The McConnell bill, which will be introduced in May, will cover all tobacco products, including vaping devices.
“For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children,” said McConnell. “In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults. Unfortunately, it’s reaching epidemic levels around the country.”
According to a press release from McConnell’s office, Kentucky leads the nation with 34 percent of cancers tied directly to smoking. They also say 95 percent of adult smokers began using tobacco products before they turned 21.
“I hope my legislation will earn strong, bipartisan support in the Senate,” said McConnell. I’m confident many of my colleagues will agree that protecting our young people from starting tobacco use at an early age can have remarkable, long-term health benefits for Kentucky and the country.”
McConnell announced Wednesday via Twitter that he would be seeking reelection.