North Dakota is one step closer to raising the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.
State Senators voted 40 to 7 to change the word “minors” to “21-year-olds,” affecting those who can purchase, possess, or use tobacco products or electronic smoking devices.
This would put the state in compliance with a federal law President Donald Trump signed in 2019 raising the federal minimum age.
An organization supporting the bill, Tobacco Free North Dakota, says the change would allow for better local enforcement, and it would give retailers a more clear direction on where the law stands.
“To the extent that we can discourage young adults from using a product that is not only detrimental to their health but also extremely addictive, we are better off,” Bismarck Republican Sen. Michael Dwyer said.
Currently, 33 states plus D.C. have adopted laws raising the age. The bill would have to pass in the House and be signed by the governor before officially becoming law.