New federal spending package law raises tobacco age to 21
Implementation phases uncertain in Montana
President Donald Trump’s Dec. 20 signage of a $1.4 trillion spending package has spelled trouble for young smokers, vapers and tobacco-chewers; beginning Dec. 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a notice, saying it was illegal for people under 21 to purchase any tobacco products, as mandated by a provision bundled into the package. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services announced on Dec. 27 the organization would begin internal discussions immediately to begin preparations for implementation in Montana, amid calls from tobacco vendors statewide that feel blindsided by the measure—and without any clear directive. According to KPAX, “the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must update its regulations within six months—including requiring retailers to check the age of anyone under 30 who wants to buy tobacco products,” and lawmakers must begin to rid all federal and state laws of any reference to 18 as the legal smoking age.