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Diana DeGette Backs 'Tobacco to 21' Act In Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS4) - U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, of Colorado's 1st District, wants to raise the smoking age across the country. She re-introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act this year.

The bill would make it illegal for anyone younger than 21 years old to purchase tobacco products and require sellers to card anyone who looks younger than 30 years old.

The change in age limit would apply to any tobacco product including chewing tobacco and vaping products.

Aspen, Avon, Basalt, Carbondale and Edgewater have all raised the purchase age to 21 years old.

DeGette's legislation is among two other similar bills with a similar goal; one in the House by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and one in the Senate by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

DeGette says those two bills have been called "trojan horses" backed by the tobacco industry.

A 2015 report by the National Academy of Medicine projected if the legal age were "raised to 21 nationwide, there would be approximately 223,000 fewer premature deaths, 50,000 fewer deaths from lung  cancer, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019."

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