Kate Brown in Lebanon (copy) (copy)

Gov. Kate Brown, seen during a March 31 forum in Lebanon, has signed legislation increasing the legal age for using and buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

David Patton, Democrat-Herald

PORTLAND (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed legislation that increases the legal age for using and buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The law takes effect at the start of 2018. Oregon is one of five states to boost the age to 21, joining California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey.

Lawmakers who approved the bill during this year's legislative session said the goal is prevent young people from starting a habit that's unhealthy and difficult to break.

The law targets sellers rather than buyers, with stores facing fines if they sell tobacco products to people younger than 21.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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