Close-up of a person holding a cigarette to their mouth

Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products is Now 21

The federal minimum age to buy tobacco products has been raised from 18 to 21 in Michigan, as a result of a bill signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 20, 2019.

The change of the minimum age took effect immediately, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tobacco products affected include cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.

The trillion-dollar spending bill Trump signed included a bipartisan amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that raised the purchase age for tobacco products.

The new federal law takes precedence over Michigan’s law, which states the smoking age is 18.

Nineteen states and Washington D.C. had previously raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

One of those states is California, where the minimum age to purchase tobacco was raised to 21 in 2016. There, officials saw a 45% decline in tobacco sales to underage buyers before and after the implementation of the new law, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Most adult smokers – about 95% – started smoking cigarettes before turning 21; and 75% of them had smoked before the age of 18. National data suggests that between the ages of 18 and 21 is a critical time when daily smoking can become a lifelong habit.

In Michigan, 22.8% of high school students said they used tobacco products in 2017, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The new federal minimum age to purchase tobacco products also affects e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.

In addition to the age change, the FDA also issued a guidance that bans the sale of fruit and mint-flavored vaping cartridges.

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