Indiana lawmakers agree on tougher tobacco sales penalties

("Cigarettes" by Curran Kelleher, CC BY 2.0)

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.