No ifs, ands or butts: Legal CT smoking age officially rises to 21 Tuesday

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E-cigarettes and regular cigarettes will get harder to purchase for some in Connecticut after the age to buy them goes up to 21 on Tuesday.

Stores like Spark City Smoke and Vape in Bridgeport said they have had some time to prepare for the change, which is designed to keep older teens from buying the products for younger teens.

"We have been telling customers for the last two months," says Ahnaf Zaman, of Spark City Smoke.

Online sales are also included in the new law.

MORE: New 'Tobacco 21' law goes into effect today

"If you try and buy the stuff online and have it delivered, the delivery guy is going to be in trouble, unless the person who signs for it can show that they're 21 and over," says Gov. Ned Lamont.

Zaman says he doubts that it will be enforced.

"They said, 'If you don't sell it to me, I can still go online and buy it.' And so, all my customers - they're still buying it. All the kids are still going to smoke it," says Zaman.

Flavored vape pods are still legal for the time being. Lamont says he doesn't have the authority to ban them on his own. But the sale of them is sure to be a hot topic when lawmakers head back to Hartford in February.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Saud Anwar addressed a letter to Lamont in light of the increase in the number of deaths nationwide related to vaping.

"We already knew that vaping posed a health risk to individuals despite its advertising," Sen. Anwar said. "The news reports that continue to come out almost daily only further prove that point. There are lives on the line. I implore Governor Lamont to consider the prospect of taking action to request a moratorium on vaping sales until we can determine what is causing the illnesses and deaths occurring around the country."

 

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