Revenue Loss Threatens Bill That Raises Legal Tobacco Age

Mar 21, 2017

Senate Democrats in Montpelier are giving a bill that would raise Vermont's legal age for using tobacco to 21 a lukewarm reception.

A financial analysis released Tuesday shows Vermont could lose over $1.5 million by fiscal year 2020 if the bill passes.

That estimate assumes an amendment will pass that allows people who are 18 by the time the law goes into effect to buy tobacco. The loss would be about $2 million otherwise.

Democratic Senator Alison Clarkson, the lead sponsor of the bill, said she worries lawmakers will vote based on the revenue loss and not potential health care savings.

Senators are looking at raising the cigarette tax to make up for lost revenue.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.