U.S. officially prohibits anyone under 21 from purchasing tobacco products
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that a new law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
President Trump signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.
I will be signing our 738 Billion Dollar Defense Spending Bill today. It will include 12 weeks Paid Parental Leave, gives our troops a raise, importantly creates the SPACE FORCE, SOUTHERN BORDER WALL FUNDING, repeals “Cadillac Tax” on Health Plans, raises smoking age to 21! BIG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
This means it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product (including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes) to anyone under 21.
While some consider this a positive step in keeping teens away from tobacco products, they're hoping for even more legislation to curb the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
Last week, Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids released a written statement, that said, in part, "Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but it is not a substitute for prohibiting the flavored e-cigarettes that are luring and addicting our kids."
"To reverse the e-cigarette epidemic, policymakers must prohibit flavored e-cigarettes and cannot be limited by what the tobacco industry says is acceptable. The evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes are driving the youth epidemic."
"Most youth e-cigarette users use flavored products and cite flavors as a key reason for their use. As long as flavored e-cigarettes remain available, kids will find ways to get them and this epidemic will continue."
While it remains to be seen how lawmakers will address the concerns Myers brought up, the new tobacco law isn't solitary. It was a small part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that also included a reservation of $1.4 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and $25 million for gun violence research.
President Trump signed the package last Friday, Dec. 20.