State Senate Approves Bill Raising Smoking Age to 21

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SACRAMENTO (AP)--

California lawmakers have voted to make the nation's most populous state the second to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown still must sign off on the legislation approved Thursday that makes California the first state after Hawaii with the higher age limit. His spokesman said last week that the governor generally does not comment on pending legislation.

The change is part of a sweeping package of anti-smoking measures that aims to crack down on tobacco use and the health problems it causes.

The bills also restrict electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco products. The increasingly popular devices are not regulated by the federal government.

The higher age limit got approved despite intense lobbying from tobacco interests and fierce opposition from many Republicans.

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