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Jacksonville & St. Augustine Lawyers > Blog > In the News > Legal Age to Buy Tobacco Products in U.S. Increases to 21

Legal Age to Buy Tobacco Products in U.S. Increases to 21

As part of sweeping spending bills signed by President Donald Trump in December 2019, the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products in the United States is now 21 years old. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the news on December 21, 2019, and plans to submit a final rule within 180 days.

The new law addresses the nationwide concern about the increasing use of vape products and nicotine among the American youth and the potential health risks of such products. A bill to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco—from 18 years old to 21—was introduced earlier last year by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and was later combined with another bipartisan bill on the topic to make it part of the spending package.

Prior to the new legislation, 19 states have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, such as the following:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Additionally, Washington D.C. and over 500 cities and towns have also done the same.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, 31 percent of high school students and 12.5 percent of middle school students reported tobacco use. A Monitoring the Future report found that one in four high school seniors, one in five high school sophomores, and one in 10 eight graders claim to have vaped nicotine in the past month.

On January 2, 2020, the Trump administration announced that it will ban and remove some—not all—flavored vape products from the U.S. market. E-cigarette companies will not be permitted to sell e-liquids in fruit, mint, and dessert flavors, which means tobacco and menthol products will only be available.

If you or a loved one has suffered from lung disease or suffered an injury caused by an exploding e-cigarette in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, FL, contact Albaugh Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation.

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