SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A Southern California lawmaker has announced legislation that would raise the legal smoking age in the state from 18 to 21.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Senate Bill 151 from state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa would make California the first state in the country to raise the minimum smoking age as high as 21.

“Tobacco companies know that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age,” said Hernandez in a statement. “We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them.”

Similar proposals have failed in other states, including New Jersey, Utah, Colorado and Maryland.

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