A spending bill aimed to keep the government funded includes a separate provision that would raise the age one could buy cigarette products from 18 to 21.
The spending bill, which passed the House on Tuesday afternoon, is a $1.4 trillion package that, if passed into law, would avert a government shutdown, CNBC reported. It has yet to pass the Senate, after which it will reach the president’s desk for his signature or veto.
President Donald Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway said that Trump is likely to sign the bill if it passes the Senate.
Included in the bill are a number of separate provisions, including a small amount dedicated toward funding fencing at the U.S. southern border, as well as a measure that would raise the age to buy tobacco products.
According to ABC News, that provision would require smoke shop owners and other sellers of tobacco products to sell only to individuals who are aged 21 years or older. The age limit would apply to all tobacco, vape, and e-cigarette products.
Breaking News: The U.S. House passed a bill raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 as part of a broad package to fund the government and avert a shutdown https://t.co/OlEoWtf62e
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 17, 2019
The move is seen as beneficial in combatting the number of teens that smoke cigarettes. While 18-year-olds still run in the same social circles as underage high school students (making it easier for them to “bum” them cigarettes or other products), it’s less likely the case that 21-year-olds would be providing such products to youngsters, and FDA report from 2013 found.
The effort to raise the age of buying tobacco is a bipartisan one, with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers pushing for the measure. In the past, the president has also expressed support for raising the age for buying tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21, CNN reported.
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