Indiana lawmakers agree on tougher tobacco sales penalties

Regional News

FILE – This Aug. 28, 2017 file photo shows cigarettes displayed on a store shelf in New York. With a new law enacted in December 2019, anyone under 21 can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco products in the U.S. It also applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that heat a liquid containing nicotine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are poised to double the fines stores could face for selling smoking or vaping products to anyone younger than 21 years old.

Legislators advanced an agreement Wednesday reached by Senate and House negotiators on a bill that supporters say will help reduce Indiana’s high smoking rates by making it more difficult for youths to obtain tobacco-related items such as cigarettes or e-cigarette liquids. But the Republican-sponsored proposal doesn’t include any additional taxes on cigarettes or regulations on vaping liquids as sought by health advocates.

The agreement would boost the maximum fine against a retailer for a first violation from $200 to $400.

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