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 on 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, was when the change in the minimum age would be enacted. From the date of Trump signing the legislation, the FDA had six months to amend their policies, 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 Dec. 20.
The FDA also noted that more information will be available regarding the policy change as it becomes available. You maybe confused on the legal age of purchase if you do a simple google search for 21+ Tobacco you can see the bill that was signed along with the "summer 2020" time period of implementation. We have been assured by the Southern Utah Health Department and FDA representatives that the legal purchasing age for Tobacco is now indeed 21+, along with one small note for us here in Utah. The legal age of possession of tobacco and tobacco items is still 19+ until this summer when the possession age will change to 20+ and again increase next year summer 2021.
Utah News: House Bill 23 was pre-filed on December 23, 2019 and amends the regulation of retail tobacco specialty businesses by including in that regulation businesses with names suggesting they are tobacco specialty businesses, increasing the number of annual random inspections of such businesses for tobacco sale violations from a maximum of two to a minimum of two, and allowing for suspension or revocation of a retail tobacco specialty business license on the first sale of a tobacco product to an underage person. House Bill 1118 (pre-filed) amends the regulation of retail tobacco specialty businesses by including in that regulation businesses that sell flavored tobacco products, defined to include any tobacco product other than those either having the flavor of tobacco or non-vapor menthol-flavored products; requires tobacco retailers, for each sale of tobacco products, to provide to the customer, and keep a record of, the name of the product sold, the amount charged, and the time and date of the sale; and prohibits free distribution of smokeless and chewing tobacco and vapor products or sales of such products at a price below 90% of cost or through the use of coupons.
To add to everything the FDA has now announced they are banning flavored pods. Here is the official statement from NATO ( National Association of Tobacco Outlets ).
While most of this lingo can confuse you the Gist is this, pre filled pods (juul, alto, vuse, blu) are banned effective immediately with retailers having until February 5th. After that time we will no longer be selling flavored pods for Juul, Alto, or Blu devices. We will still carry the Menthol and Tobacco Flavors. This flavored pod ban does not effect "Cigalike" devices such as Puff Bars or fill it your self systems and flavored e liquids.