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San Francisco Votes On Raising Tobacco Buying Age To 21

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Supervisors in San Francisco are voting Tuesday on whether to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, even as opponents argue that cities and counties cannot trump California state law.

The ordinance would apply to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

The issue has gained traction nationally as lawmakers try to discourage young people from starting to smoke. A 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine found that 90 percent of daily smokers first tried a cigarette before the age of 19.

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Opponents argue that California state law already has a minimum age of 18, and that provision prohibits cities and counties from setting a higher limit.

The minimum age to buy tobacco is 21 in New York City, Boston and Hawaii.