Yesterday, Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas signed into law a bill that will increase the state’s minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 years old to 21-years-old.

Last month, H.B. 2269 passed both the Kansas House of Representatives and Kansas Senate. The bill simply replaces any reference to “18” with “21” in existing Kansas law, which covers both traditional tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes and vaping products. Last year, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a similar, but not identical bill only to see it die in a committee in the Kansas Senate.

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. The vast majority of U.S. states have updated their laws to make it consistent with the federal standard, Kansas is one of the exceptions.

The 2023 bill is much simpler than the 2022 bill, which made other changes such as making it illegal to possess tobacco or vaping products on any school campus. The 2023 bill doesn’t make that illegal, though keeps current provisions in place that would make it illegal to “distribute samples within 500 feet of any school when such facility is being used primarily by persons under 21 years of age,” the current law defines that as persons “under 18 years of age.”

The new law formally takes effect July 1.

Overall Score

Avatar photo

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.