Tobacco age raise has mixed reaction


As part of the sweeping spending bill, President Donald Trump signed the new minimum age for purchasing tobacco products into law last week.

The bipartisan legislation, supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was attached to a package of must-pass spending bills that will keep the government running into next year.

The new minimum age by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.

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A $1.4 trillion spending package President Trump signed into law December 20 contained a provision ordering the Food and Drug Administration to raise the federal age to purchase tobacco products to 21, from 18, after six months of policy-crafting and a 90-day transition period. He said he first heard about the changes on social media and was anxious that he might be selling tobacco to be people who were now considered underage.

Tim Kaine, D-Va., who worked together to raise the age to buy tobacco products. Those new rules will take effect within 90 days of being announced. Although he sells tobacco products, he chose not to sell e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Anti-smoking advocates said the higher age limit should make it more hard for young people to get tobacco, particularly high school students who had friends or classmates over 18 buy for them. However, the law does not require a delay the shift to 21.

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While the FDA states it's now illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, both they and the law itself state there are more steps that must be done to finalize things.

The FDA also noted that more information will be available regarding the policy change as it becomes available.

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