Purchase Age for Tobacco and E-cigs May Increase from 18 to 21

Purchase Age for Tobacco and E-cigs May Increase from 18 to 21

The legal cut-off age to purchase any tobacco-related item may go up from 18 to 21 if the City Council heads in Pima vote in favor. 

These are the results of a campaign that kicked off last August. The City Council of Tucson requested the City manager to come up with a strategy to push up the legal cut-off age for tobacco-based products. 

Councilman Paul Durham and his colleague Paul Cunningham suggested the initiative after officers from the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Pima County Health Department pushed for the action.

The operation dabbed Tobacco 21 is Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation’s nationwide campaign to push up the minimum authorized age for the sales of tobacco and related products. The Foundation reported that over 95% of tobacco addicts begun smoking before 21 and up to 350 teenagers turn into binge smokers each day in the US.

Around the same period the city heads started gaining interest in the campaign, the Pima County Board of Health wrote to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) to consider amending the city’s tobacco laws to include e-cigs.

But the BOS  went a step ahead to suggest a raise in the legal cut-off age for tobacco and e-cigs to 21 from the existing18. The Supervisors also suggested the development of a retail license system that enforces tobacco laws and regularly inspects businesses dealing in such products across Pima County.

This year, in Feb and Mar., the Department of Health hosted twelve community gatherings to discuss the BOS’s propositions. Almost 90 individuals were present at the meetings organized in all the five districts in Pima County. 

Among those who attended were reps from the vaping sector; business owners, big-box store owners, and health and nonprofit foundations.

March surveys by the American Heart Association (AHA) indicated that 64 percent of individuals interviewed in the County supported the raise of the buying age for tobacco products. This figure jumped up to 698 percent in Tucson. 

These changes may not be confined to Pima county. Over half of the United States’ population is subject to the Tobacco 21 proposition. According to Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, starting July 30, an entire 18 states and not less than 480 cities had pushed up the buying age for tobacco-related products to 21. 

Final Words

Whether or not a raise in the legal cut-off age for tobacco purchase will reduce addiction cases among minors is not clear.

However, it seems that the campaign has caught fire, and the regulation may soon turn into federal law.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about assisting businesses set up an Online Tobacco Merchant Account as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.



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