TORONTO — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 from 18 in a move that will limit young Canadians’ accessibility to products, including e-cigarettes, while across the border.
According to the FDA, the new law applies to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.
“It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available,” said a notice on its website.
The new law applies to American citizens and any travellers looking to purchase tobacco products in the country.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed the new age limit into law on Dec. 20 as part of a larger government funding bill.
The new law comes into effect amid a growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping among youth that health organizations across Canada and the U.S. are racing to combat.
Nearly 2,300 Americans have been diagnosed with vaping illnesses since March, many of them teen and young adults, and at least 47 people have died.
Health Canada has set the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products at 18 but provinces can choose to enforce an older age.
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