Louisiana Representative Frank Hoffman from West Monroe is on a mission to try and improve the overall future health of citizens of the Bayou State. And it's his estimation that a good move in the right direction to accomplish that goal would be to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.

He states that six states and over 400 cities have already made this move in an effort to produce better health outcomes. In an interview with louisianaradionetwork, Hoffman says, "We hope they don’t ever start at 21, but if they do at least it is better to start at that age than while they are still growing from 18 to 21.”

This possible legislation, House Bill 38, is set to be introduced during next month's legislative session, and while Hoffman admits the move could mean a possible loss in tax dollars from the reduced tobacco sales, he feels the long term health benefits would far surpass the immediate losses. “It is going to save billions of dollars in healthcare both for Medicaid or Medicare or even private costs for people.”

Hoffman is prepared for the bill to see some opposition, but he's convinced that not everyone in the tobacco industry has opposition to raising the minimum purchase age. “Even some of the cigarette manufacturers right now are indicating that they would not be opposed to the concept. Now that is not all of them but we are hearing some of that.”

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