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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 John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 McConnellBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Lawmakers release compromise defense bill in defiance of Trump veto threat | Senate voting next week on blocking UAE arms sale | Report faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' in military plane crashes Senate to vote next week on blocking Trump's UAE arms sale Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (D-Va.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzACLU sues DHS for records on purchased cell phone data to track immigrants DHS watchdog to probe agency's tracking of Americans' phone data without a warrant Tech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing MORE (D-Hawaii), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungShelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences Grassley quarantining after exposure to coronavirus Rick Scott to quarantine after contact with person who tested positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ind.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinCongress faces late-year logjam Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot MORE (D-Ill.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him WaPo reporter says GOP has less incentive to go big on COVID-19 relief COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks 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.