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Amendment to Raise Federal Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 Rejected


On Tuesday, June 4 House appropriators rejected Rep. Aderholt’s (R-AL) amendment to an FDA funding bill that would raise the federal age to purchase tobacco, including e-cigarettes, to 21 by a vote of 23-27. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) opposed the measure because she said she didn’t have enough time to review the amendment which was updated soon before the vote after criticism from anti-tobacco groups that said its definition of vapor products could leave a loophole that allowed laxer regulation of new products like Philip Morris International's heat-not-burn tobacco device IQOS. She also opposed the measure because it wouldn't take effect for two years. Democrats have said they generally support the idea, but said the problem needed to go through authorizing committees, not an appropriations bill.

Currently, 16 states and at least 450 localities have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21. Iowa Lawmakers continue to have conversations on raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21.

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