The minimum age for Floridians to possess tobacco and vaping products that deliver nicotine would rise from 18 to 21 under legislation a state House committee readied Tuesday for a floor vote.

The measure that cleared the House Appropriations Committee would also establish 21 as the minimum age for smokable forms of medical marijuana.

Members of the military would be exempt from all such age restrictions.

Sponsors say the bill would improve public health and reduce the costs that government programs such as Medicaid incur for treating cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.

They say the health effects of vaping are largely unknown and that the increasingly popular practice could become a gateway to tobacco for young people.