MONTPELIER (AP) - A Vermont House committee has emphatically rejected legislation to raise the age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The House Human Services Committee took the action Tuesday after Vermont's health commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen, opposed the legislation because 18-to-20-year-olds are legally adults and should have the freedom to smoke.

Chen says the state's efforts are better directed at anti-smoking education campaigns.

The committee took testimony about two proposals to raise the age. One of them would exempt members of the military.

It then voted 10-1 to reject one of the two bills and then 11-0 to reject the one that would have exempted service members.