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FDA officially raises federal minimum age to purchase all tobacco products from 18 to 21

Pack of cigarettes. (Lindsay Fox,
December 27, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially changed the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

The new minimum age applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.

The provision came as part of a $1.4 trillion spending package signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 20, which amended the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which also included $1.4 billion reserved for building the U.S.-Mexico border wall and $25 million for gun violence research.

It had bipartisan support, being introduced in May by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

What was unclear in the proposal, however, when the change in the minimum age would be enacted. From the date of Trump signed the legislation, the FDA had six months to amend their policies, per Convenience Store News.

After that, the minimum age change would take place within 90 days.

However, the FDA website now reads: “It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21.” The FDA website states that the website was updated on Dec. 20.

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

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have already raised the minimum age on tobacco products to 21, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.


© 2019 USA Today