Lawmakers suggest raising minimum age to buy tobacco

(AP file photo/Mark Lennihan)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group of lawmakers and health leaders are trying to find a way to keep kids away from tobacco products.

A town hall meeting was held Wednesday to gather input and suggestions from residents. One idea that came up is raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

City-County Councilor Colleen Fanning said the opioid crisis has become the more urgent issue, but tobacco has been a silent killer for a long time.

“It costs us hundreds of millions of dollars in health care every year. As well as many many many lives. So it’s really something we need to think about,” Fanning said.

The group says more than 220 cities nationwide are working on legislation that would raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products.