Maine Becomes Fourth State to Adopt Tobacco 21
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine became the fourth U.S. state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 on Aug. 2.
The Maine Senate and House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Paul LaPage's veto of the bill.
LePage's concerns centered on restricting the rights of adults and the impact on convenience and grocery stores. Other opponents of the bill warned of the possibility that raising the legal smoking age from 18 would create a black market for cigarettes that could lead to drug abuse, reported Fortune.
"We will see cigarettes becoming a product of the black market, sold by black market drug dealers who are selling more than just cigarettes and attracting new clients to their harder products," said Republican Sen. Eric Brakey.
The bill goes into effect July 1, 2018.
Hawaii, California and New Jersey preceded Maine in raising the legal smoking age to 21. More than 250 cities and other localities have passed similar laws, including Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.