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California Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21 from 18

The California Senate voted on Tuesday to raise the legal smoking age in the most populous U.S. state to 21 from 18, in a move that could make California one of the states with the highest smoking age.

The measure was approved by the Senate 26-8 and must now be approved by the state Assembly.

“We will not sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them,” Senator Ed Hernandez, a Democrat and the bill’s author, said.

“Tobacco companies know that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age,” Hernandez added in a statement.