Today, Virginia becomes the latest state to make 21-years-old the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and tobacco alternatives, as legislation passed in February officially goes into effect.
The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives by a 62-32 vote, while the Senate cleared it with 32-7 vote in February. Gov. Ralph Northam wasted little time signing it into law on Feb. 21.
The bill, H.B. 2748, includes an exemption for active duty military personnel, meaning that if such an individual is able to product valid identification, they would only need to be 18-years-old to purchase tobacco, e-cigarettes or vaping products.
Also included is language that will remove tobacco vending machines from places where persons under 21-years-old might have access to them. It does not completely ban such vending machines, however, allowing them as long as the facility in which they are located is restricted to persons of the new legal smoking age.