Raise the age to buy tobacco

Vastly more people die of tobacco-related illnesses than of any cause linked to alcohol. Yet in West Virginia, where we require purchasers of alcoholic beverages to be at least 21 years of age, we continue to sell tobacco to anyone who has reached 18.

That is absurd. A bill approved Wednesday by the state Senate would change that. SB 348 would raise the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21. The measure was co-sponsored by state Sens. Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, and William Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio.

Some have raised questions of personal liberty regarding the bill. That, too, is absurd. A variety of age-related limits already in effect are intended to safeguard health and safety.

House of Delegates members should approve the bill, too.

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