The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it is now illegal for retailers to sell tobacco products to citizens under the age of 21.
The FDA has six months to finalize the Tobacco 21 bill, but the agency has stated on its website that the new rule is already in effect.
According to a report by Krem2 news, many Idaho retailers are in limbo with the new law due to a lack of anything being written in Idaho State code that prohibits the sale to those under 21.
The report states that Idaho State Police are working with the Department of Health and Welfare on how to enforce the new law.
This new law not only affects age requirements for tobacco sales, but also for e-cigarettes and vape cartridges as well.
The law was a part of a $1.4 trillion spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 20. The law was part of a list of provisions that were not spending related that had been tacked on to the bill.
The FDA posted a statement on its website saying that the new minimum age to buy tobacco products would go into effect immediately.
“On Dec. 20, 2019, the president signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available,” the FDA website stated.
Nick Parker, the owner of the St. Maries Smoke Shop, weighed in on the issue by saying that he thinks the law won’t really stop kids from getting their hands on tobacco products.
“We all know that if a kid wants it, they will find a way to get it,” Mr. Parker said. “It’s just like the alcohol issue, instead it should be up to the parents to teach 18 year olds to make adult decisions.”
He said that the law makes when a person is considered an official adult questionable.
“I don’t like the law, you are pretty much saying that an 18 year old is not an adult,” Mr. Parker said. “You can go to war, or go into debt. You can even be tried as an adult if you were to commit a crime as an 18 year old.”
He said that though he doesn’t agree with the law, he feels that the new restrictions won’t affect his businesses profits.
“As far as business goes, I don’t think it will hurt us much,” Mr. Parker said.
He said that he thinks that raising the minimum age to buy tobacco due to a handful of vaping-related deaths and illnesses is an overreaction.
“The law is definitely an overreaction by the government,” Mr. Parker said. “You get the government involved in anything and they overreact.”