A bill that will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old in Wyoming is getting some traction, as on Thursday, SF 50 was passed by the Committee of the Whole and will advance to the full Senate for a vote.
As with many other states, the bill was brought about largely to bring the state’s law into compliance with the federal age, which was increased to 21 in December, so that local law enforcement tasked with enforcement can do so at the higher age. Other specifics about how tobacco is handled is still being left up to individual states. For instance, the Wyoming bill would penalize retailers who sell to persons under 21 with a first offense fine of $250 and a second offense fine of $500 if it occurs with two years of the initial violation. The bill had originally sought to penalize underage persons who purchase or attempt to purchase tobacco, but that was removed via an amendment.
The bill also changes a bit of language in the state law, changing tobacco products to now be referred to as nicotine products and including electronic cigarettes and vaping products.
If it passes the legislative process, the bill would go into effect on July 1.