Iowa is one step closer to increasing its minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18- to 21-years-old.
Last week, the Iowa Senate passed SF 2268 by a vote of 43-6, a bill that simply replaces the at least 18-years-old standard in existing law with a requirement of at least 21-years-old. Unlike other states, which typically have also increased the penalties for stores and sometimes individuals caught in violation, this is a clean version, just changing the age requirements.
That is likely irrelevant as the federal government, at some point, will begin enforcing a new minimum age to purchase tobacco products of 21-years-old nationwide.
On Dec. 21, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, a $1.4 trillion spending bill that also increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that upon signing that the new law went into effect immediately. It is halfwheel’s understanding that while the law might have changed, FDA likely lacks the authority to enforce the 21-years-old minimum age standard until after a few procedural steps, which likely would be completed by the end of 2020. However, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) have advised their retail members to comply with the increase to 21 as a precautionary measure.
FDA has stated that it is not yet enforcing the 21-years-old standard through its compliance checks program.