A Proposal to Raise the National Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced plans to introduce legislation that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in the U.S. from 18 to 21. The proposed bill would cover all tobacco products, including vaping devices. According to McConnell, teen vaping is “the serious threat” his legislation will try to combat.

McConnell made this announcement at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in Louisville. He was joined by the CEO of the foundation, former Congressman Ben Chandler. Chandler explained that raising the minimum purchase age is an effective way to reduce smoking rates. The bill even has support from the tobacco industry, including Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies which includes the vaping company Juul. Altria’s Vice President said that putting tobacco on a par with alcohol “makes sense” and could persuade lawmakers to “approach tobacco regulation a bit more reasonably.”

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