Senate passes bill banning tobacco sales to anyone under 21

Senate passes bill banning tobacco sales to anyone under 21
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The Senate voted to permanently ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 on Thursday. 

The rule was included as a provision in the spending bill that was passed in the upper chamber and now heads to President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE’s desk to be signed into law.

Several senators had originally sponsored independent legislation to enact the rule, but partisan debates derailed that bill. The provision in the funding bill is supported by many major public health groups and has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineMenendez jabs State official over Colombian group's terror designation Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos Senate advances defense bill after delay MORE (D-Va.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Alabama Republican touts provision in infrastructure bill he voted against Telehealth was a godsend during the pandemic; Congress should keep the innovation going MORE (D-Hawaii), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Senators to take up defense bill Wednesday Schumer: Time is 'now' to repeal Iraq War resolution It's time to give Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity and choice of recovery in the home MORE (R-Ind.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin working on 'adjustments' to energy policies in Biden spending plan Schumer: 'Good conversation' with McConnell on debt hike  Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (D-Ill.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyNo deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Utah). 

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“I’m proud the Senate approved legislation today including our Tobacco-Free Youth Act to help address this urgent crisis and keep these dangerous products away from our children. It is because of my position as a tobacco state Senator that I introduced this bill, and it is because of my role as Senate Majority Leader that President Trump will be signing the Tobacco-Free Youth Act into law by week’s end,” McConnell said in a statement. 

“Passage of this lifesaving legislation is an enormous victory for the health of our young people. By raising the age to buy tobacco products nationwide, we can save 223,000 lives and reduce youth tobacco use,” added Kaine. 

Lawmakers have expressed confidence that raising the tobacco purchasing age will help curb youth tobacco use as debate continues to rage over banning certain flavors of vaping products.

Tobacco companies have come out in support of raising the purchasing age to 21 largely in an effort to try to prevent more stringent regulations from being debated in Washington.