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Congress poised to ban tobacco sales to anyone under 21

Congress appears poised to permanently prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21.

The provision is expected to be included in a final year-end spending deal, according to a senior Democratic aide.

The provision, which is supported by many major public health groups, was included as part of a bipartisan and bicameral legislative package to fix surprise medical bills. But turf wars and partisanship have derailed that legislation and lawmakers wanted to ensure the tobacco provision survived intact.  

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The tobacco legislation was originally sponsored by Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats have no case against Amy Coney Barrett — but that won't stop them Pence-Harris debate draws more than 50M viewers, up 26 percent from 2016 Five takeaways from the vice presidential debate MORE (D-Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi gives White House 48-hour deadline for coronavirus stimulus deal MORE (R-Ky.), and has broad, bipartisan support from Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzHillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon Democrats question Amazon over reported interference of workers' rights to organize Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse MORE (D-Hawaii), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRepublicans: Supreme Court won't toss ObamaCare Vulnerable Republicans break with Trump on ObamaCare lawsuit Senate GOP eyes early exit MORE (R-Ind.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Progressive group: Feinstein must step down as top Democrat on Judiciary panel Judiciary Committee sets vote on Barrett's nomination for next week MORE (D-Ill.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Trump's second-term chances fade Romney slams Trump for refusing to denounce QAnon on national television Overnight Defense: Pentagon IG to audit use of COVID-19 funds on contractors | Dems optimistic on blocking Trump's Germany withdrawal | Obama slams Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Utah).

While larger efforts to regulate tobacco by banning certain flavors and e-cigarettes have stalled at the federal level, lawmakers believe raising the tobacco purchasing age will make a difference. 

Tobacco companies are on the front line pushing for the legislation at the federal and state levels, mainly in an effort to stave off stronger regulations that could have disastrous effects on the industry.

Industry giant Altria has endorsed the bipartisan legislation. Public health groups have said any tobacco industry support makes them wary, but they have praised the effort.