Capitol Comments Articles
House Committee Reviews Raising Smoking Age to 21
KansasCapitol (Feb. 13, 2020) – The House Federal and State Affairs Committee, chaired by Representative John Barker (R-Abilene), met today to review House Bill 2563. The bill would increase the age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. It also would prohibit cigarette vending machines and flavored vaping products with the exception of menthol. Among those providing testimony in support of the bill were the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments, the Kansas State Board of Education, and the Kansas Hospital Association. Opponents of the bill, which included vaping shops and convenience stores, were focused mainly on concerns about the elimination of flavored vaping products and increases in licensing fees. The biggest issue will be whether the committee amends the bill to remove all exceptions to the addition of flavorings, or whether the ban on flavorings will be completely removed. The committee met for two hours and is not expected to take up the bill in the near future.