Bill lifting tobacco-buying age to 21 nationwide clears Senate

Per the nearly $1.4 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. Senate, the minimum age to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products will be raised to 21 years across the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The new age limit for purchasing tobacco products aims to curb youth vaping, a nationwide crisis. In 2019, about 53.3 percent (8 million) of high school students and 24.3 percent (2.9 million) of middle school students reported trying a tobacco product, the CDC reported.

There have been a slew of lung injury cases due to vaping in the U.S. The CDC reported 2,506 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use linked to lung injury, many of them involving teenagers. Fifty-four people have died.

Nineteen states, including New York and Texas, have passed laws raising the tobacco-buying age to 21 years.

If the federal spending bill is signed into law, the new age limit on tobacco purchases would take effect immediately, the Journal reports. President Trump has expressed support for the provision.

Update: President Trump signed the spending bill into law Dec. 20, thus raising the age limit on tobacco purchases. The FDA now has 180 days to update its regulations, and the new age restriction will go into effect about 90 days after that, ABC News reports.

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