Revenue loss threatens bill that raises legal tobacco age in VT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – A new financial analysis shows that Vermont could lose over $1.5 million by fiscal year 2020 if a measure that would raise the legal age for using tobacco to 21 passes.

The analysis has cast the future of the bill into uncertainty. Sen. Alison Clarkson, the lead sponsor of the Senate bill, said she is worried lawmakers will cast their vote based on the short-term revenue loss and not look at the long-term health care savings.

Fiscal analyst Nolan Langweil said that there will be long-term savings because people will be healthier, but measuring the savings is hard to do accurately.

Senate Democrats will meet Tuesday afternoon to determine if the bill has enough votes to pass.

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