Kansas is moving Increase the legal age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21 from 18 after the federal government and most other states have already done so.
The state Senate approved a bill to raise the age Tuesday by a vote of 28-11, and sent it to Gov. Laura Kelly. The House of Representatives approved it earlier this month by a vote of 68 to 53.
Kelly did not say if she would sign the bill, but officials at the state Department of Revenue and the Department of Aging and Disability Services endorsed the action. Public health officials believe that raising the age for purchasing tobacco products will reduce their use and outcomes healthcare costs.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, disease and disability in the United States and nine out of 10 adults started smoking by age 18.
41 other states have raised their legal age to 21, including the tobacco-producing states of Kentucky and Virginia. The federal government raised its age to 21 in 2019 and told states they would have to force a higher age to receive federal money for substance abuse programs.