Halting Tobacco Sales to Minors
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is aware of an announcement from FDA that raises the federal legal age for purchasing tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21 years. TDA is awaiting guidance from FDA on when and how federal enforcement of the law change will be implemented. In the meantime, TDA authority under state law is limited to enforcement only against sales to persons under 18 years of age.
Consequently, as of the date of this announcement and pending any change to state law, sales of restricted products to persons under 21 years of age may be subject to federal authorities’ enforcement, but TDA will not take action against sales unless the recipient is under 18 years of age.
Tennessee’s Youth Access to Tobacco Program administers the Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco and Vapor Products Act for the purpose of reducing access by minors to tobacco products through various prohibitions and restrictions on the sale, distribution, and receipt of such products. This includes conducting random, unannounced inspections of locations where tobacco products are sold or distributed.
Anyone appearing to be under 27 years of age must present a valid photo ID and be at least 18 years of age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapor products.