Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state of New Mexico will be 21.

Yesterday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed SB 131 into law. The new law increases the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state from 18- to 21-years-old. In addition, the bill will create licenses for those wishing to sell tobacco. The initial license fee cannot exceed $750 while annual renewals cannot be greater than $400.

Whether it takes until 2021 for the change to take effect remains to be seen. Enforcement of the new federal standard when it comes to minimum tobacco purchasing age might already be in effect by next January.


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.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.