The Kansas House of Representatives approved a bill that would increase the minimum age to purchase or possess tobacco products, as well as vaping products, to 21-years-old.
H.B. 2340 passed by a vote of 79-43, it now moves to the Kansas Senate where it will need to be approved before the governor can sign the legislation into law.
This legislation is largely about codifying an existing federal requirement into Kansas’ state law, allowing local law enforcement to enforce the existing federal requirement. In December 2019, President Donald Trump signed a large federal spending bill that also included a provision increasing the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18- to 21-years-old at the federal level. While the federal law already exists, its enforcement is restricted to those who sell tobacco products and not the consumers.
In addition to changing the existing 18-year-old minimum to 21-years-old, H.B. 2340 would make it illegal to possess all tobacco and vaping products on school campuses.
Anyone under the age of 21 caught trying to purchase, purchasing, or possessing a tobacco or vaping product could be subject to a $25 fine. Those caught trying to sell or provide tobacco products to those under the age of 21 could be subject to a class B misdemeanor, which carries a minimum $200 fine.