WV Bill Would Raise Tobacco-Use Age To 21


CHARLESTON, WV (AP)- A bill moving through the West Virginia Legislation, would raise the legal tobacco use from 18 to 21.

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, passed a bill on to the Judiciary for possible consideration. The bill would prohibit those under 21 from purchasing e-cigarettes as well. The legislation would impose a misdemeanor and fines of $300 for the first offense, at least $600 for second offense and at least $1,000 for the third offense of selling or providing tobacco products to people under 21.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has among the highest youth smoking rates in the nation. The state loses about 4,300 people a year to tobacco related illnesses according to Dr. Cathy Slemp. Slemp said the impact of raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21 is estimated to be less than a quarter of 1% of the state’s tobacco tax revenue. Several states including Indiana, Illinois, and Virginia have similar bills pending.

Yazmin Rodriguez

Yazmin Rodriguez is currently the morning and noon anchor for WOAY. She was born in Newark, New Jersey then later headed down to the Jersey shore where she received her bachelor's degree in television and radio from Monmouth University. At Monmouth, she was actively involved in the student-run television studio, HawkTv. There she anchored, reported, produced and directed. After graduation, she headed to Sacred Heart University in Connecticut where she received her masters in broadcast journalism and digital media while interning at a radio station. Yazmin has always had an admiration for storytelling and idolized news anchors growing up especially WABC anchor Sade Baderinwa. She always had a love of public speaking and writing and knew journalism was the right career for her the moment she stepped into her college television station. She’s beyond thankful WOAY gave her this opportunity to live out her dream career. She loves working out, cooking, going on long drives and watching movies, especially A Star is Born.