McConnell introducing bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21

McConnell introducing bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21
© Stefani Reynolds
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he will introduce legislation that would raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. 

The forthcoming bill, which the Senate GOP leader announced during a press conference in Kentucky, would set the nationwide minimum age at 21 and would cover all tobacco products, including vaping devices.

McConnell said his legislation would be similar to the current law that enforces the 18-year-old minimum age, but the raise the national minimum age from 18 to 21. 

“For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children. In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults. Unfortunately it’s reaching epidemic levels around the country," McConnell said in a statement.
 
He added that his bill would have exemptions for individuals who serve in the military. 
 
McConnell's bill at the national level comes as eleven states have already enacted laws that raise the age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21. Delaware Governor John CarneyJohn Charles CarneyDelaware mandates COVID-19 vaccines for all school staff Delaware set to raise minimum wage to by 2025 26 governors condemn anti-Asian violence MORE signed a bill this week to raise the age within that state from 18 to 21, which will go into effect within 90 days.
 
McConnell noted on Thursday that he will introduce his legislation in May.