Tobacco products should only be available to adults and sold by licensed and regulated tobacco retailers.
Underage Tobacco Prevention
Tobacco Issues supports fully restricting the sale of all tobacco products to kids, as well as strict enforcement of these restrictions by state and municipal authorities.
Efforts by political leaders, tobacco companies, and retailers have driven underage use of conventional tobacco products to historic lows. But in light of recent increases in e-vapor product use among minors, Tobacco Issues believes the time has come to enact legislation to raise the minimum age of purchase for all tobacco products, including e-vapor, from 18 to 21. We believe the best answer for reducing teenage tobacco use is enacting and enforcing a minimum purchase age of 21. Most Americans live in states where 21 is the minimum age. And more and more states are moving to 21 too. This change in the law should help reduce underage tobacco use. Data shows that youth under 18 get tobacco products primarily through social sources, including peers in high school who are of legal age. By raising the minimum age to 21, almost no high school student should be able to purchase tobacco products legally.
The number one way kids today get access to tobacco products is by obtaining them from legal age purchasers. Approximately 80% of high school students in the U.S. turn 18 years old before graduation. By raising the minimum age to 21, high school students will not be able to purchase tobacco products legally, adding another hurdle to help reduce social access.
Tobacco Issues believes that everyone engaged in the manufacturing, distribution or sale of tobacco products should have a government issued permit, license or registration. In addition, tobacco products should only be sold by licensed manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Licensing would improve the ability of government authorities to identify parties legally authorized to distribute tobacco products. It would also help protect legitimate trade members who face unfair competition by providing government authorities the ability to revoke licenses of trade members who do not comply with required laws or who trade in contraband tobacco products. Limiting the sale of tobacco products to licensed retailers helps to ensure that tobacco products are only available to adults.