On Dec 20, 2019, the President 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.
It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21. The FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available.
The following states who have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, according to the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
“We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so, so we’ll be coming out with something next week very important on vaping,” Trump said from the White House in November.
Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a written statement that raising the federal tobacco age to 21 without also prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes will not stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
“To reverse the e-cigarette epidemic, policymakers must prohibit flavored e-cigarettes and cannot be limited by what the tobacco industry says is acceptable,” Myers’ statement said. “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.”
The increased age restriction for tobacco purchases is one of several provisions outside of the spending measures themselves attached to the broader $1.4 trillion spending agreement.