Gretchen Whitmer proposes raising smoking age to 21 in Michigan

Posted at 11:17 AM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 14:19:23-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is proposing to raise Michigan's tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.

The gubernatorial candidate included the proposal in her health care plan that was released Wednesday. She says Michigan has a high tobacco usage rate and it is time for the state to join five other states that have increased the purchase age to 21.

She says 95 percent of adult smokers started smoking before they turned 21.

Whitmer also wants a statewide smoking ban at public beaches and parks.

She also is proposing the creation of a reinsurance program that she says would lower health care costs for Michiganders and make it possible for uninsured people to buy affordable coverage. Whitmer points to some other states that have had success lowering costs with reinsurance programs.