Indiana House GOP kills bill to raise smoking age to 21

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House Republicans have killed a bill that would have increased the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The measure by Democratic Rep. Charlie Brown of Gary was killed Tuesday in a procedural maneuver by House Speaker Brian Bosma. It comes just one day after the House Public Health Committee approved the measure on a 9-0 vote.

Raising the smoking age is a top priority for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, prompting the group to issue a rare rebuke.

President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said there was “no valid reason” to kill the bill. He said the “true victims” are those who develop poor health from smoking.

Indiana consistently ranks poorly among states when it comes to key measures of public health, including smoking rates.