Congress likely to raise age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age in spending bill


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(CBS) — The minimum age for use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes could be rising from 18 to 21 years of age. In the 1,773-page appropriations bill package, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have inserted a provision to require users of tobacco products including e-cigarettes to be 21 years of age.

“It shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell a tobacco product to any person younger than 21 years of age,” the language reads.

Mr. Trump has floated supporting the age increase in the past, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed legislation to that effect.

“Since I introduced my legislation earlier this year to raise the minimum nationwide purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21, stories of vaping related illnesses and deaths — especially among young people — have stunned Kentucky and the nation,” McConnell said in a statement. “I’m grateful to the communities, the health advocates and my fellow elected officials, including President Trump and Senators Todd Young and Mitt Romney, who have joined Senator Kaine and me to address this urgent crisis and keep these dangerous products away from our children.”

But it’s not the only significant change in the legislation. Also tucked into the 12 different appropriations bills that have been packaged into two large piece of legislation is funding for gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, $25 million worth. Congress hasn’t funded gun violence research in 20 years. 

Democrats are also touting the legislation’s $425 million for election security grants, and a $208 million increase in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to $9 billion. 

Reporting by Alan He and Rebecca Kaplan.

First published on December 16, 2019 / 5:23 PM

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