Another Great Article that we had to share with all of you!
Anyone who smokes is well aware of the minimum age required before being able to purchase these products. While it used to be that you only had to be 18, that could soon be changing for those in North Carolina. If House Bill 435 passes, residents will have to be 21 to purchase vaping products and traditional cigarettes. For those who waited for the big day to turn 18, this could end up causing a number of problems. Imagine what might happen to those who are 18, 19 or even 20. These individuals who once used to be allowed to go in and purchase their favorite products could find themselves being unable to do so if this bill goes through.
According to the terms of the bill, all tobacco-derived products, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, cigarette wrapping papers and tobacco could be off limits to anyone who isn’t 21 years of age. Thankfully, there are a couple of exceptions to this bill that could head off some of that controversy that could ensue if they forced 18, 19 or 20-year-olds to refrain from smoking or having to try and obtain the products illegally. Any active military personnel would be exempt from this new bill. It also contains a grandfather clause for those who were born in either 1998 or 1999. This means that all of those individuals would be allowed to continue purchasing the products legally without having to worry about any repercussions.
However, after January 1, 2021, anyone looking to purchase any of the aforementioned products would need to be at least 21 years of age. Given the fact that North Carolina has a rather extensive tobacco heritage, it might not be so easy to be able to raise the age to 21. While North Carolina is still in the process of getting the bill to pass, there are other states who already raised their minimum ages. For example, California and Hawaii have raised the minimum age to 21 as of 2016. Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts also have municipalities that raised their minimum age to 21. Four other states upped their minimum age to 19.
This House Bill is aimed at the regular brick-and-mortar, online retailers and wholesalers who could face a fine if caught selling any of the above products to someone who isn’t 21 years of age. That also means that those individuals who are caught purchasing products for someone who isn’t legal age will go up as well. Smoking plays a significant role in preventable deaths in the state, which is why so many are pushing for this bill to take effect. However, the problem still remains that they continue to classify traditional cigarettes and vaping products under the same category. That isn’t exactly the case though. Yet, that doesn’t stop municipalities from trying to do just that.
It might not be long before all of the states raise their minimum age requirements for purchasing traditional cigarettes, papers, vaporizers and any number of other items on their banned list.