Changing the age for those who can purchase tobacco products–what it means for Louisiana

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WEST MONROE, La (1/1/20) — A new law in the united states that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 is now in effect, but many are confused by what happens next.

According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, it is now illegal for a retailer to sale any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21. Tim Thompson, Owner of Elevate Vape Shop and Botanical’s, says there’s a lot of concern about the change, especially from those aged 18 to 21.

“They are worried that they used to smoke and they got off of it by doing this and now they’re going to take it away from,” said Thompson.

Thompson believes extending the age to 21 will push those underage users to get their product by other, less legal means.

“They’re going to create of supercharge a black market for the products,” said Thompson.

There’s still confusion among Louisiana retailers about when this law goes into effect. Thompson reached out to the Alcohol and Tobacco Control. They told him while the federal law has changed to 21, in Louisiana it’s business as usual until the 2020 Legislative Session kicks off in March.

“Louisiana cannot change a law until they are in session, so it is currently 18 right now to buy tobacco,” said Thompson.

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