Virginia will likely join a small but growing group of states to raise the minimum age to purchase, possess and use tobacco products to 21-years-old, as a pair of bills have passed the legislature and are now headed to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.
And in case the governor does decide to veto the bills, they will return to the legislature where they were approved easily, seemingly with enough to override a veto attempt should a vote be needed.
While they both increase the minimum age for purchase and possession of tobacco and e-cigarettes, the two bills contain some slight differences; H.B. 2748 contains an exemption for active military personnel, leaving the minimum age for those individuals to purchase tobacco products at 18-years-old, while S.B. 1727 does not contain that provision.
Assuming the bill becomes law, Virginia will join Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts as states to make 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. That group could grow again this year as roughly 20 states are considering similar legislation.