Tobacco 21 Rules Go Into Effect in Three More States
NATIONAL REPORT — September usually marks the unofficial end of summer. In three states, this September marked a new era of tobacco sales.
As of Sept. 1, Arkansas, Texas and Vermont prohibited the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 years old. The new regulations in two of those states, however, do include some exceptions.
In Arkansas, adult tobacco consumers who turn 19 before 2020 and member of the military are exempt from the new law.
Legislation in Texas also carves out two exceptions: for active duty military who are at least 18 years old with a valid military ID, and any adult tobacco consumer who was born on or before Aug. 31, 2001.
In addition to the change on the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products, Texas retailers are required to ask for ID from any tobacco consumer that appears to be under 30 years old. This is three years higher than the federal minimum age to ask for ID, which stands at 27.
Before the end of the year, four more states will implement Tobacco 21 measures. They are Connecticut (Oct. 1), Maryland (Oct. 1), Ohio (Oct. 16), and New York (Nov. 13). Washington State and Utah will increase the legal tobacco buying age in 2020.
In all, 18 states and Washington, D.C. have passed Tobacco 21 legislation.