Raising the legal age from 18 to 21, to purchase tobacco products in the United States is a major public health achievement for the White House. Several states have already passed legislation to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21. As of December, 19 states besides Washington, DC, as also 500 cities and towns have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products, to 21.
Businesses and shops are gearing up to introduce the smoking ban in England after similar bans were introduced in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A new United States law prohibits sale of tobacco products to anyone below 21 as per USFDA. The new change in the minimum age tobacco sales law is part of a spending bill. The FDA website clarified it is now illegal for any retailer to provide any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and cigars to anyone below 21. Additional details are to be provided later.
What flavored tobacco and vaping does to your health
In September, President Trump said that the US FDA would be making some very strong recommendations about the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. At that time, officials from Trump administration said FDA would be removing all non-tobacco-flavored vaping products from the shelves amid continued concerns about enhanced youth vaping and the spreading vaping-related lung diseases. Today, vaping-related lung injuries surpass 2,500 cases nationwide, CDC says. Health organizations have put pressure on the administration to put a ban on flavors, which are popular among young people. Advocates for vaping have argued that they’re a tool to make adult smokers quit smoking combustible cigarettes.
Vape shop proprietors have argued that the limits on sales of flavors will surely ruin their businesses. The provisions in the new spending bill may be seen by many as the POTUS’s response to the youth vaping epidemic sweeping through the country. Vaping remained popular among the youth across the United States in 2019. The latest federal survey report, named Monitoring the Future, found that 25% of 12th graders, 20% of 10th graders and 10% of 8th graders confirm having vaped nicotine in the past month. The campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that raising federal tobacco age all the way to 21 even without prohibiting flavored vapes will not cease the teen e-cigarette epidemic.
A Bipartisan Effort
The restriction on tobacco sales was being pushed by a bipartisan mix of senators and these lawmakers finally found a way to get the prohibition passed, by attaching it to a must-pass series of bills in an effort to avoid a mega government shutdown. The increased restriction for tobacco use is one of many provisions outside to the broader $1.4 trillion spending Budget agreement. Trump wrote on Twitter that the agreement raises the age of smoking to 21, and marked the change as a major highlight. Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but not a substitute for prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes that are luring and addicting the youngsters. To prevent the e-cigarette epidemic from spreading, policy makers must also prohibit flavored e-cigarettes rather than go by what the tobacco industry finds as acceptable. Most teen e-cigarette smokers use flavored products as a key reason for their use. If flavored e-cigarettes are available, youngsters will find ways to secure them and the epidemic continues.