In December 2019, a federal Tobacco 21 law was passed that raised the national purchase age for all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21 years old. This law put the onus on the retailer by making it illegal to sell any tobacco product to a minor under the age of 21. This law is generally enforced through fines and protects younger adolescents from accessing tobacco products through friends who are legally able to buy them. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with enforcing the law.
Although Tobacco 21 is now law, much needs to be done to ensure it is implemented effectively across all 5o states. The AAP champions policies to compel states and localities to align with federal law, including increased compliance checks and passing enforcement measures that meet their communities’ specific circumstances.