Oregon Senate approves raising legal tobacco age to 21 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Senate approves raising legal tobacco age to 21

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SALEM, OR (AP) - The state Senate has approved raising Oregon's minimum age for tobacco use to 21.

The bill approved 19-8 on Thursday now heads to the House. If the proposal is eventually signed by Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon would be the third state to increase the legal age for buying and possessing cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Hawaii was the first state to increase the age, followed by California. Dozens of cities and local jurisdictions have adopted the policy over the years, including Oregon's Lane County.

The proposal would reduce Oregon's tax revenue from tobacco by $1.76 million in the upcoming two-year budget, adding slightly to the state's projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The losses, however, could be covered from proposals to increase tax rates on tobacco.

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