Yesterday, the Delaware Senate approved a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
S.B. 25 not only increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, but also removes language in existing laws that would allow parents to buy tobacco products for their children. It also removes fines for those caught attempting to buy tobacco if they are not of age, instead solely punishing the retailers who are caught selling tobacco products to those under the age of 21. Fines start at $250 and could escalate to $1,000 for retailers with multiple offenses.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-11, the Senate Majority Whip. It now moves to the House.
If it passes, the bill will almost certainly be signed into law as Gov. John Carney, D, called for such legislation earlier this year during his State of the State Address.
Six states have already approved raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21, while legislatures in Illinois and Utah have passed bills that are now waiting to be signed by their respective governors.