Connecticut cracks down on cigarette sales by raising smoking age to 21

Connecticut has become the latest state to raise the age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21.

A bill signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday – set to take effect in October – also bans the sale of electronic cigarettes and vaping products to anyone under 21.

Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, hailed the new law as “an important, life-saving measure.” He told the Associated Press that such “Tobacco 21” laws are “more important than ever” given the increase in youth e-cigarette use.

The measures passed by Connecticut come as officials in San Francisco Tuesday unanimously approved a ban on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes and endorsed a ban on manufacturing of e-cigarettes on city property. That ordinance will need to be voted on again next week for final approval.

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The Connecticut law also bans smoking on the grounds of child care centers and schools.

But critics of the legislation have complained it violates the rights of adults ages 18 to 21. Fifteen other states have passed similar measures.

Fox News’ Francesca Walton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.