Louisiana House snuffs out bid to raise smoking age to 21
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana won't raise its legal smoking age from 18 to 21.
The House resoundingly snuffed out the proposal from Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a West Monroe Republican. Only 24 members backed the measure Thursday, while 55 opposed it.
Hoffmann, a former smoker, says he's trying to save lives and cut health costs.
Opponents argued the age hike would violate individual freedoms.
House Republican leader Lance Harris, who owns a chain of convenience stores, says people who can join the military, get married and buy a home shouldn't be told they can't smoke.
Hoffmann didn't have the backing of anti-smoking groups. Those organizations said the bill didn't do enough to curb smoking and was too weak on enforcement and penalties for businesses that sell to underage smokers.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Officials identify man killed in fiery East Feliciana Parish crash
Authorities: Theriot admitted to killing 5 in 'pure, cold blood'
Lawyers for Dakota Theriot argue for more defense money
Livingston Parish gathering info on June storm damage
Deputy: Theriot admitted to killing 5 in 'pure, cold blood'