Bill introducing on opening day of the Legislature comes from Beaverton Sen. Steiner Hayward and Sherwood Rep. Richard Vial.

PARIS ACHEN/PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, announces legislation that would raise the legal smoking age to 21, during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at the State Capitol in Salem.SALEM — A Beaverton lawmaker who also is a family physician plans to reintroduce legislation this week that would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

The proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward is intended to limit teenagers access to tobacco.

"As a family physician, I always think it's better to prevent disease than to cure it, and one of the best things we can do in Oregon to prevent disease is to stop people from using tobacco and other dangerous products that contain nicotine and other harmful substances," said Steiner Hayward, who has lost family members to smoking-related illnesses.

"I've seen the effects as a physician and as a family member all too well," she added. "Oregon deserves a better future than this."

While Steiner Hayward is a Democrat, the bill is co-sponsored in the House by a Republican. Rep. Richard Vial, a freshman whose district includes Sherwood and portions of unincorporated Washington County, is the House sponsor of the bill and spoke in support it Wednesday at the Capitol.

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