A new law in the United States that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 is now in effect, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed the new minimum age into law as part of a sweeping spending bill. On Friday, the FDA noted on its website that “it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available.”
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.
The restriction on tobacco sales has long been pushed by some lawmakers.
Those lawmakers have been looking for a way to get the prohibition across the finish line and now they’ve found one, by attaching it to a must-pass series of bills to avoid a government shutdown.
States that have already raised the minimum age
Raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products in the United States from 18 to 21 marks a major public health achievement for the White House. There already have been several states that have individually passed legislation to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21.
As of December, 19 states 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.