McConnell Proposes Raising Minimum Age For Buying Tobacco

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he plans to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationally.

The Senate leader said Thursday his bill will cover all tobacco products, including vaping devices.

The Kentucky Republican represents a state that for generations was a leading tobacco producer in the U.S. Tobacco production has dropped dramatically in Kentucky in the past decade.

McConnell says his bill will continue to hold retailers responsible for verifying the age of anyone buying tobacco products. He says about a dozen states have already enacted laws raising the minimum legal age to 21.

McConnell made the announcement in Louisville, at the office of an organization that promotes health initiatives in Kentucky. He intends to introduce the bill next month.



  1. 1. Unclear if the Federal government has jurisdiction. To get states to adopt a 21 minimum age for alcohol, the Federal government threatened to cut off highway spending if they refused to do so. So it appears that the constitution makes determining the minimum age to be a matter of state law.

    2. It seems weird to set a minimum age for alcohol and tobacco, but not for marijuana which is now legal in much of the country.