MADISON-Nicotine addiction- whether through smoking cigarettes or “vaping”- continues to rage at epidemic levels among teens.
Assembly Bill 348 is a bipartisan measure that increases the permitted age of purchase to 21 (from the current 18 years old).
Federal law changed in 2018 but local law enforcement and health departments cannot enforce federal law- only state laws.
Assembly Bill 348 was approved on a bipartisan vote by the Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention on Sept 30th. Educational and health advocacy organizations, hospitals and law enforcement organizations spoke in support of the bill.
Rep. Baldeh (D-Madison), the second author of the bill, wrote to Speaker Vos to request that the bill be scheduled for a vote in the upcoming January 2022 (final) session.
In his letter, Baldeh wrote:
Given the bipartisan support in the Assembly and Senate, I believe that this measure would be swiftly passed by a voice vote as a non-controversial bill.
If enacted, this bill would play an important part of reducing tobacco use among teens and later, adults. This would only be a benefit to Wisconsin.