Bill would raise North Carolina smoking age to 21

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90 percent of smokers start before the age of 18.

A new bill introduced at the General Assembly would raise the legal age to buy tobacco in North Carolina from 18 to 21.

House Bill 435 says anyone who turns 18 this year would not be affected. But, people with a birthday after January first wouldn't be able to buy tobacco, or even rolling paper, until 2021.

Critics say it wouldn't have much of an impact because - according to a Surgeon General's report - 90-percent of smokers start before the age of 18.

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