Congress Passes Bill Banning Tobacco, E-Cig Sales for Those Under 21
SOMETHING THEY CAN AGREE ON
Congress passed a law on Thursday to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 across the nation. The provision was included in a $1.37 trillion spending package introduced in May as part of the Tobacco-Free Youth Act by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Kaine tweeted on Monday, “I’m thrilled that my bill to raise the tobacco age will get a vote in the House and Senate this week. This legislation will have an enormous positive impact on public health in our country—and it’s needed now more than ever as we grapple with the youth e-cigarette epidemic.” According to the American Lung Association, 94 percent of adult smokers had their first cigarette before turning 21 and a National Academy of Sciences study in 2015 estimated that a 12 percent reduction in tobacco use and potentially 223,000 fewer deaths would occur if the legal age was raised to 21. The new law applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.