Smoking age raised to 21

On Dec. 20, President Donald Trump signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21.

The FDA helps retailers better understand their responsibilities for complying with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) and its implementing regulations by issuing guidance and education materials.

The landmark Tobacco Control Act aims to make tobacco products less accessible and less attractive to children and youth. Each day in the United States, about 2,000 youth try their first cigarette and more than 300 become daily cigarette smokers. Many of these children will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks, and many will ultimately die of tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco retailers play an important role in protecting children and adolescents from the harms of tobacco by complying with federal laws.

Under the Tobacco Control Act, FDA has broad authority to regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco products to improve public health and protect children and adolescents from the harms of tobacco use. Retailers can play an important role by complying with federal regulations on the sale, distribution and marketing of tobacco products.