It’s official: Minimum age to buy tobacco is now 21

Marianne Wilson
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smoking cigarette

It is now illegal to sell tobacco products — including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges — to anyone under the age of 21.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially raised the legal age to purchase all tobacco products from 18 to 21. The measure, which has bi-partisan support, was included in a spending package that President Trump signed into law on Dec. 20. While initially there was some confusion as to exactly when the age change would take effect, the FDA has posted a message on its website that declared the change is now in effect.

“It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21," the FDA said on its website. “FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available.”

Prior to the new law, 19 states had already raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Washington, D.C., and more than 500 municipalities and counties also previously raised the age to 21.