The age of 18 just got a little less significant. The FDA has gone and raised the legal age for tobacco to 21. Now about all you can do when you turn 18 is consent to sex, pay money to state-run lottery scams, and die for your country.
Back in the day, like in the 70s, you could drink and smoke on your 18th. But you could also go to prison like forever for smoking a doob. So… pretty good trade off.
The very same day that Illinois became the 11th state in the union to OK adult cannabis consumption, the Federal Drug Administration raised the tobacco use age to 21.
The change came not as the result of a bill which had gone through the whole bill-on-Capitol Hill legislative process, but of a year-end spending package signed by our country’s one and only president, Donald Trump. The policy change has received bipartisan support from both the reds and the blues in congress.
A note on the FDA’s website reads: “On December 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 legal smoking age had already been raised to 21 in 18 states as well as Washington, D.C., so the new change means some of them states may have wasted a lot of paper.
High Timesnotes that the move comes after other recent aggressive actions by the FDA against tobacco companies. In particular, actions aimed at curbing use of tobacco products among the young.
In September, the agency sent a letter to leading e-cigarette company Juul Labs mandating that they quit claiming that their product Juul is safer than traditional cigarettes. The FDA said its “concern is amplified by the epidemic rate of youth use.”
Photo via Flickr/Craig Dennis