A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 75% of the American public, including 70% of current smokers, supported a minimum age to buy tobacco of 21. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.1 Among U.S. adults, approximately 34 million adults smoked cigarettes (in the past 30 days) in 2019.2 Nearly 9 in 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily start smoking at age 18; After the age of 25, almost no adults start smoking or start smoking on a daily basis.1 Since 2012, various jurisdictions around the world have legalized recreational cannabis. In Mexico, Uruguay and jurisdictions where cannabis can be purchased, the legal age to possess or purchase cannabis is the same as the age to purchase tobacco (18 in Mexico and Uruguay and 21 in the United States). In Canada, the legal age to possess or purchase cannabis is 19 in all provinces and territories except Alberta (18) and Quebec (21). There are therefore three Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan) and two territories (Northwest Territories and Yukon) where the age to purchase tobacco is below the age of possession and purchase of cannabis, and one province (Prince Edward Island) where the age of tobacco purchase is higher. Prior to December 2019, when the U.S. raised the age of tobacco purchase to 21 in all states and territories, several U.S. states had a tobacco purchase age below the age of cannabis possession and purchase. 20. In December 2019, Congress increased the MLSA for tobacco products from ages 18 to 21. This law, known as Tobacco 21 or T21, came into force immediately, and it is now illegal for a retailer to sell tobacco products – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under the age of 21.8 The new federal MHA applies to all retail establishments and persons without exception; It applies to retailers in all states, DC, all U.S.
territories, and tribal lands. There are no exceptions for active military personnel or veterans between the ages of 18 and 20.8, as was previously the case in some states.9 Includes all types of tobacco products: cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery systems (including e-cigarettes) and hookahs. A recent study found that people who start smoking regularly between the ages of 18 and 20 are more likely to become addicted to nicotine and less likely to quit smoking than people who start smoking at age 21 or older.3 These findings are consistent with a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, , which provides that raising the legal age of sale (MLSA) for tobacco products from 18 to 21 or 25 years is likely to significantly reduce the prevalence of smoking and smoking-related deaths.4 This fact sheet describes federal and state laws that set minimum age requirements for tobacco sales. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Many high school students would live to age 18 — the previous legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes in most states — during their senior year of high school. They often bought tobacco and e-cigarettes for young students. It is illegal to sell or give tobacco products directly or indirectly to minors, and anyone caught doing so will be subject to severe penalties. In December 2019, a Federal Tobacco Law 21 was passed, raising the national purchasing age for all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. This legislation places the burden on the retailer by making it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors under the age of 21. This law is generally enforced through fines and protects young teens from accessing tobacco products through friends they can legally buy. The legal smoking age is the minimum legal age to purchase or consume tobacco products. Most countries have laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to people under a certain age, usually at the age of majority.
On December 20, 2019, the President signed a law amending the Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and raising the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21. This law (known as „Tobacco 21“ or „T21“) came into effect immediately, and it is now illegal for a retailer to sell tobacco products – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under the age of 21. The new federal minimum age applies to all retail establishments and to persons without exception. Tobacco 21 is an important part of a comprehensive public health approach to tobacco reduction. In addition to Tobacco 21, we must eliminate all flavoured tobacco products, stop online (remote) sales, and increase taxes on all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. In addition, the FDA must begin reviewing all e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, and pipe tobacco. According to 2020 data from the National Youth Smoking Survey (NYTS), nearly 1 in 4 high school students (3.65 million) currently use a tobacco product. Current tobacco use was highest for e-cigarettes (19.6%), followed by cigars (5.0%), cigarettes (4.6%), cigarettes (4.6%), smokeless tobacco (3.1%), hookah (2.7%), heated tobacco products (1.4%) and pipe tobacco (0.7%). The momentum accelerated as cities and states across the country began raising their legal age for selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Nineteen states and D.C. have passed 21 tobacco laws.
Since the federal law was passed, 14 other states have passed laws raising their state`s selling age to 21 in November 2020. With the passage of federal law T21, there have also been corresponding updates to the Synar program. To receive their block grants for substance abuse, states and territories must now report illegal sales to people under 21, whether or not they have increased their own MLSA to 21.5. A purchase age of 21 is in accordance with alcohol laws. Raising the legal drinking age to 21 has helped reduce drunk driving deaths and reduce alcohol dependence among adolescents. It is illegal for minors to buy, use or possess tobacco products in public Minors caught red-handed usually receive a warning or a $30 fine, with their school and parents informed and follow-up action taken by the school. Minors arrested more than once must attend at least two smoking cessation counseling sessions to aggravate their crimes. Minors who do not meet the above requirements, or if arrested four or more times, may be charged in court and, if convicted, fined up to $300.  Smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths from second-hand smoke. That`s about 1 in 5 deaths per year or 1,300 deaths per day.
In 2009, Congress enacted the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad powers to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and sale of tobacco products. As passed, it applied to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.6 In 2016, the FDA established a rule that extended its regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah and pipe tobacco.7 Following the adoption of this rule, No tobacco product could be sold to a person under the age of 18. The majority of smokers (90%) start smoking at age 18. These young smokers often get their cigarettes from their older friends. Retailers looking for a quick guide on how to amend the Federal Minimum Age Act for Selling Tobacco Products can find one here. The FDA has free resources to help retailers calculate the age of customers. In July 1992, Congress passed the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act, which included an amendment to reduce adolescents` access to tobacco products. This amendment, named after its sponsor, Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma, required U.S.
states and territories to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 in order to receive federal subsidies for drug abuse.5 * With respect to tobacco purchases, Mississippi state law prohibits a person under the age of 21 from buying tobacco products or alternative nicotine products (including e-cigarettes).