Guam Increasing Minimum Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 Next Year

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On Jan. 1, 2018, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Guam will increase from 18 to 21.

In interesting manuever, the new law will go into effect without the signature of Gov. Eddie B. Calvo. Bill 9-34 passed the Guam legislature unanimously meaning the bill is veto-proof. Last year, a similar bill passed 9-6—missing the 10-vote threshold needed to be veto-proof—but was then vetoed by Calvo.

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This year’s bill was passed on March 9 and has now lapsed and as such will become the law.

Bill 9-34 was amended to also double fines retailers are subject to if they are caught selling tobacco to anyone under the age of 21. The new fines are:

  • First violation in a five-year period, no more than $1,000
  • Second violation in a five-year period, no more than $2,000 and the tobacco license can be suspended for up to 90 days
  • Third violation in a five-year period, no more than $5,000 and the tobacco license can be suspended for up to 180 days
  • Fourth violation in a five-year period, no more than $10,000 and the tobacco license can be revoked. The retailer will not be able to apply for a tobacco license for at least two years.

Guam is a U.S. territory with approximately 160,000 residents. California and Hawaii are the only two states that have passed similar laws, as have a variety of U.S. cities.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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