Nearly one year after it rejected an effort to increase the minimum purchasing age for tobacco products to 21-years-old, the Idaho Senate passed S.B. 1087 which would do just that. It passed 25-10.
According to Idaho Press, some senators who voted against last year’s measure voted in favor of S.B. 1087. The reason for this is because the federal minimum tobacco purchasing is now 21-years-old, meaning that states like Idaho are passing bills like this so that the federal law can be enforced by local law enforcement.
As for federal enforcement, FDA says that it has begun conducting compliance checks with individuals under the age of 21 “now that a reasonable transition period has concluded.” Those checks can lead to fines and other punishment for the retailers, but it’s not as extensive as local laws like S.B. 1087.
If passed, individuals under the age of 21 found in possession of tobacco products could be fined $17.50, be required to attend a tobacco awareness program, and subject to community service. There are steeper fines for minors found guilty of distributing tobacco products or lying to officers about their age.
Interestingly, the bill also would prevent local governments from imposing additional regulations on the sale or marketing of tobacco products, a change from the status quo. The bill now moves to the Idaho House of Representatives.