Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to raise the age of purchase of all tobacco products from 18 to 21.
In response to his plans to present legislation to change the age, Altria Group announced it is in agreement with Sen. McConnell.
“Altria strongly supports raising the legal age of purchase for all tobacco products, including e-vapor, to 21,” said Howard Willard, CEO of Altria. “This is the most effective action to reverse rising underage e-vapor usage rates. Now is the time to move to 21 and we welcome Senator McConnell’s leadership on this important issue.”
Currently, many underage tobacco users obtain their tobacco products from someone who is 18 or older. By raising the age to 21, the chances that a high school student can obtain tobacco are greatly reduced. So far, 14 states have enacted laws to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. It is an issue that has bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
Many adult smokers want alternative products that are less harmful than cigarettes like e-vapor and heat-not-burn tobacco. The problem is keeping these products away from teenagers who have never smoked but want to use the products as an alternative to smoking.