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Tobacco 21 Laws Sweeping the Nation

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Whether you believe the vaping age for purchase and/or possession should be 18, 21 or somewhere in between, 21 seems to be the magic number for lawmakers across the country. Ordinances are being passed faster than ever before, and we’re here to keep you posted on what’s passed and what’s pending.

The entire state of Massachusetts has adopted Tobacco 21 for purchase, which will go into effect Dec. 31, 2018, reports Mass Live. Other notes of the law:

  • Anyone who turns 18 before that date will still be allowed to buy tobacco, as long as there was not a municipal ordinance already in place banning tobacco sales to 19- or 20-year-olds
  • The law prohibits vaping on school grounds and in nursing homes, prohibits the sale of vaping products in vending machines, and requires nicotine and tobacco products to be packaged in childproof containers
  • Prohibits the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies or health care facilities

The Minnetonka, MN, city council is contemplating a move to Tobacco 21 as well, according to Lakeshore Weekly News. Ordinances were introduced this fall that would increase the purchase age to 21 and prohibit the sale of flavored products. However, now that the state law is in place, this particular city’s debate seems like overkill.

Dover was the first municipality in New Hampshire to incorporate Tobacco 21 late in the summer, according to nhpr.org. The ordinance includes buying, using or possession of all tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vaping devices. The city council in Keene, NH, is contemplating following suit in Tobacco 21 for purchase and possession, reports SentinelSource.com.

Colorado-based Post Independent reports that Carbondale officials have raised the purchase and possession age to 21. Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson previously said that the city could go down one of two paths: prohibiting the sale from those under 21 without licensing requirements from vendors or prohibiting the sale from those under 21 and also mandating retailers possess licensing.

The Ohio-based Kent City Council is looking to change the purchase age of tobacco and vaping products to 21, but the issue, according to the Record-Courier’s report of the council meeting, is the definition of adulthood. “Councilwoman Tracy Wallach said she agrees with reducing youth access to tobacco, but wouldn’t support the initiative because of inconsistencies on the definition of adulthood: ‘When you’re 18, you’re old enough to vote, and you’re old enough to fight and die for your country,’ she said.”

NBC Connecticut reports that City Councilor Larry Deutsch has proposed a ban on vaping in public and raising the purchase age to 21. The age is currently 18.

In Juneau, AK, the legislature passed SB 15, which places the purchase age at 19, reports JuneauEmpire.com.

A bill also passed in Westchester County, NY, according to Tapinto Yorktown. The purchase age in the county is now 21. In Carmel, NY, a bill is on the table to adopt Tobacco 21, according to Tapinto.net. The measure would need a supermajority to pass (six of nine legislators).

In Tucson, AZ, the city council is looking at raising the purchase age to 21 within city limits, reports Tucson.com.