Baltimore County is looking to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes or any other tobacco product from 18 to 21.
Legislation being proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski also would ban the sale of e-cigarette devices to anyone in Baltimore County under the age of 21.
Olszewski wants to expand the definition of tobacco products to include vaping to give the county health department the ability to target that particular type of tobacco use.
Olszewski said, “We know particularly for young people, they’re being targeted often, sort of marketed to. It’s the area where we see the most uptick in use.”
The legislation would bring the county in line with a law passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. Olszewski said the county has to do that to be able to enforce the new state law.
“In Baltimore County to date, there was no ability to enforce the vaping or the e-cigarettes,” Olszewski said. “So we want to move quickly to ensure that authority is on the books.”
There is an exception to the proposal to raise the age. 18 would still be the smoking age if you are in the military.
The Baltimore County Council will consider the legislation next month. Council is scheduled to discuss the proposal Oct. 1 then take a vote on it the following week.