Due in part to e-cigarettes and vaping devices, teenage use of tobacco products is on the rise. This constitutes a public health crisis and needs to be addressed. Raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21 would keep tobacco products out of high schools and teenagers’ hands. Having states implement this requirement would boost enforcement, since state authorities enforce state laws.
By leaving the implementation of this bill to individual states, rather than passing a federal mandate, this bill leaves room for tobacco companies to lobby at the state level to block Tobacco 21 laws. Rather than passing this bill, it’d be better for Congress to take up alternative legislation that enact a Tobacco 21 law at the federal level.