McConnell introducing bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act House Dem cites transgender grandson in voting for Equality Act 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 CarneyMcConnell introducing bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21 Delaware gov signs bill awarding electoral votes to winner of national popular vote Delaware House passes bill to give state's Electoral College votes to popular vote winner 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.