The FDA announced last week the legal age to purchase tobacco increased from 18 to 21 years of age. Various interest groups have been promoting the age increase for some time and the notion had bi-partisan support on Capitol Hill but codifying the concept into law proved difficult, until last week.

As of December, 19 states had increased the minimum age to 21 and over 500 municipalities and the District of Colombia had similar age requirements. The federal increase in age extends to all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.

The Florida legislature, in early 2019, attempted to raise the minimum age to 21 but the bill died in May leaving 18 as the minimum age to purchase tobacco. The new federal law and FDA enforcement takes effect nationwide immediately.

Arguably, a major impetus for the change is the increasing concern over teen vaping, particularly flavored cartridges, and overall vaping health related concerns. On this matter, the FDA is moving to ban all fruit flavored vaping cartridges but appears to be willing to leave the status of menthol unchanged.