FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Lawmakers in one of the largest tobacco-producing states in the country have rejected a proposal that would have raised the smoking age to 21.
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes, Photo Date: January 2011 / Cropped Photo: Nikita2706 / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 / (MGN)
Senate Bill 249 would have banned anyone under 21 from using tobacco products in Kentucky. An effort to pass the bill through the state Senate Agriculture Committee failed on Monday despite support from Altria, one of the world's largest tobacco companies.
Altria Vice President David Fernandez told lawmakers the proposal would put tobacco on par with alcohol and persuade federal regulators to ease up on restrictions for e-cigarettes and other vapor products.
Committee Chairman Paul Hornback said lawmakers could vote on the bill again before adjourning next month.
Last week, Virginia became the seventh state to ban tobacco use by anyone under 21.