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.
Today I signed four priority public health bills into law focusing on reducing prescription drug prices, capping insulin costs, creating more affordable health insurance options and raising the age to purchase e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. #NMgov #NMleg pic.twitter.com/CpYNbTdBIJ
— Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) March 4, 2020
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.