Stores begin implementing law raising age limit to 21 for tobacco purchases

State representatives react to tobacco purchasing age change

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The federal government has limited who is allowed to purchase tobacco products in the United States.

The FDA announced retailers are no longer allowed to sell tobacco products to anyone under 21. Beforehand in Alabama, stores were not allowed to sell tobacco products to people under 19.

The FDA said this includes cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes. The changes come after President Donald Trump signed legislation Dec. 20.

The Council on Substance Abuse Executive Director Shereda Finch said the earlier teenagers use tobacco products, the more likely they are to become addicted. Finch hopes this change will limit addictions.

“We’re hoping that with it going up to age 21 that it would once again decrease access," Finch said.

Several cigar and vape stores said they will abide by the new age limit.

Patsy Hasley owns Zelda Cigar and Prattville Cigar as well as a number of CBD stores in the river region. She said they card everyone who comes into the store. Hasley found out about the age changes through email Friday morning.

“Immediately new signs went up on the age limit,” she said.

Hasley said she does not sell vaping products that contain tobacco, however, she will not sell to people under 21.

“Because I like to be consistent and I don’t want to risk anything. Later they can come back and say ‘oh wait a minute, we meant to include that too,’” Hasley said.

The FDA said additional details are being worked out and will be released in the future.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.