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Howard County Executive Pre-Files Bill To Raise Age For Tobacco, E-Cigarette Sales From 18 To 21

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- Howard County is taking action to comply with a new state law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21.

Maryland's new law raises the age of sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. It took effect in October and was passed ahead of the breaking news of lung illnesses caused by vaping.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has a bill to bring the county into compliance with new state law.

"I think we're seeing all the health risks when it comes to vaping," Ball said. "When it comes to vaping and when we're looking especially at our younger adults, we're seeing more prevalence in using vaping and e-cigarettes."

In the case of many young people, the law is a necessary layer of protection.

As of Tuesday, there have been 43 cases of vape-related illnesses in Maryland. The latest CDC number is 1,604 nationwide.

The Howard County Bill sends the message that 21 is the legal age for purchasing vape and tobacco products.

"I'm very concerned about the recent challenges when it comes to vaping," Ball said. "I think we need to do all we can to protect the health and wellness of our residents. I think this legislation is a great step in the right direction."

It will be introduced in Howard County Council Nov. 4.

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