Local leaders urge lawmakers to raise age to purchase tobacco products
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mecklenburg County wants the smoking age raised.
County leaders are requesting lawmakers explore raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
[Researchers: Use of cigarettes, alcohol down, while e-cigs, pot increase among Charlotte children]
The county said 6,800 children are estimated to become smokers in Mecklenburg County every year.
Meanwhile, cigarette use among adults has reached a historic low.
In the 60s, cigarette smoking rates were more than 40 percent.
They are now down to 14 percent and that is just cigarettes.
The CDC said about 19 percent of Americans are using tobacco in some form.
After years of cracking down on traditional cigarettes, federal health officials are now shifting their attention to epidemic levels of e-cigarette use by teenagers.
[9 Investigates: Vaping, E-cigarette dangers]
[FDA to launch plan to prevent children from using e-cigarettes]
The FDA is about to announce new restrictions as soon as next week.
They are expected to include banning most flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations.
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