The Indiana Legislature will likely pass legislation in the coming days that will increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vaping products to 21-years-old, as well as increase the penalties for retailers providing such products to persons under 21.
On Tuesday, the state House of Representatives passed SB 1 by 78-16 margin, while the Senate passed HB 1006 by a 39-11 vote. Both bills were returned to their originating chamber with amendments for consideration before they would be sent to Gov. Eric Holcomb for his signature. Holcomb has made increasing the tobacco purchasing age to 21-years-old a priority for 2020.
The legislation would not only raise the age to purchase tobacco products but also to possess such products. It would also doubles the fine a retailer would pay for selling to someone under 21, and would require that any new retailers selling such products be located at least 1,000 feet from a school, up from the current requirement of 200 feet. It would also subject a person who knowingly sells tobacco, an e-liquid, or an electronic cigarette that contains vitamin E acetate to a Class B infraction.
Should the legislation pass and be signed by the governor, the changes would go into effect on July 1, bringing the state into compliance with a federal age increase enacted at the end of 2019.